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Quick response please-would you eat sausages 2 days out of date?



  • JayD
    JayD Posts: 698 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    youngie wrote: »
    let common sense rule if it looks ok and smells ok use it

    I agree.

    With food, if it looks OK and smells OK, then it generally IS OK. I think they tend to be overly 'careful' with dates on food these days.

    After all, jam is meant to be a 'preserve' that stays safely edible almost indefinitately but it that has use by dates on too. These are not the best guide as jam can be well in date and still be bad if the lid was never sealed on properly in the first place, or air has somehow got in. Same with pickles.

    I am always more concerned by supermarkets moving 'reduced price' chilled foods onto the front grids - outside of the 'chill zone' of the chill cabinets. The price is usually reduced because the item is fast approaching it's use-by date, which makes this an even more hazardous thing to do.

    So, any food not stored in the correct manner, can be risky to eat and that is a much more important factor than any use by date.
  • With regard to refreezing food.

    On defrosting raw meat you should NEVER refreeze UNLESS you have cooked it. Once cooked, you have killed off all the nasty bugs. With leftovers, you have the option to reheat once only or to freeze (once cooled sufficiently) and use on another day.

    Hope this helps someone.

  • With regard to refreezing food.

    On defrosting raw meat you should NEVER refreeze UNLESS you have cooked it. Once cooked, you have killed off all the nasty bugs. With leftovers, you have the option to reheat once only or to freeze (once cooled sufficiently) and use on another day.

    Hope this helps someone.

  • Hi,

    I'm an EHO working in food safety, so i hope i can help give some advice on these issues.

    The above post is correct, there are 2 types of date, 'use by' and 'best before'

    The best before date is purely a mark of quality, it is not illegal to sell food after its best before date (as you will see on the market stalls mentioned above), and is perfectly safe. They will of course probably be of inferior quality, stale or can go mouldy (which won't normally be harmful, but will make the product spoil).

    It is an offence to offer for sale food past its use by date. Use by dates only have to be applied to foods which are high risk, usually products of animal origin which are ready to eat and will not undergo cooking before consumption. Note that i've said cooking, many products are ready to eat, but you will reheat them before eating such as ready meals or ready made pizzas. These are the products i would not consume more than a day or so after the use by date (unless they've been frozen, in which case microbial growth has effectively been stopped for the period that they're frozen). So basically any products of animal origin which will not undergo cooking fall into this class.

    The slightly grey area that this is about is to do with raw meat(products of animal origin). We class raw meat as low risk, and it therefore only requires a best before date which is why butchers don't put dates on them. However, many supermarkets like to have a use by date on these products, although i have to say i'm not entirely sure why. The point is, raw sausages will often contain harmful bacteria at levels high enough to cause food poisoning, this is unavoidable (although good hygiene at the abattoir and in the food chain will reduce it) but provided that they are properly cooked are fine to eat, even some time after the date.
    I would happily cook raw meat some time after its date and eat it. However, it will start to smell after some time, and this is the main method we use to determine its 'fitness' for human consumption (although meat may also take on a slightly tacky texture as well). We would prevent raw meat from being offered for sale in a business in this state, although evidence suggests that it would probably still be safe to eat if cooked properly, the quality will probably suffer.

    So i hope that has cleared some things up, best before dates it is safe to eat after (although quality will be affected), use by dates of ready to eat foods should be heeded (although a little leeway is probably built in) and raw meat and fish (except tuna and mackerel) can be eaten after their dates if they are properly cooked, but you should also use your sense of smell to help you judge.

    There are also some other high risk foods such as cooked rice which should be dealt with the same as cooked meats, but i won't complicate things further!

    If anyone has any more questions, please feel free to give me a shout and i will try and help

  • yes i would without a doubt but if smelly no
  • In reply to Peakma:

    'So is there a there another similar thread on food hygiene? another thing I'm never sure about is why you cant freeze something twice? so for example ,if I defrost some chicken,cook a curry,can I freeze the left overs or not?'

    As I understand it, as long as chicken is thoroughly defrosted and cooked through, you can then safely re-freeze it. Good luck!
  • Glad that you're all okay Peakma but the date message really gives the answer to your query.
    Some item carry a "best before" date.
    This means that there should be no problem eating the product after that date but the product may not taste exactly as was intended.
    Other item carry a "use by" date.This means exactly what it says.
    While no one can stop you eating a product after its use by date there could be a marked deteriation in the quality of the product which could, in theory, cause unpleasant effects.
    Another dating system is "use by the end of".
    This is usually found on sandwiches and pastries, which are usually purchased for same day consumption and means that the product should be safe to eat on the actual date shown.
    It is also worth bearing in mind that retailers may legally sell goods after their "best before" date but it is illegal to sell goods after their "use by" date.
    This is my understanding of the dating systems in use BUT I am not a trading standards officer, I am purely a salesman in the food industry.
  • Peakma wrote: »
    Hi all,I'm cooking these already,so quick advice please! I bought tescos finest chipolatas on friday,planned to eat tonight,as toad in the whole(so they will get fried first then oven cooked).Just got them from fridge and they were sell by saturday use by sunday,today is Tuesday.

    I've just put them onto fry,I think they smell fine,but I'm wondering if we should eat them or not.For the sake of wasting loads of quality sausages,is it worth running the risk of poisoning the family and making all sick! Or will they be fine??
    Another question whilst I'm here,just found a forgotten broccoli,its just turning green to yellow,is it now useless or would it be o.k in a soup?I hate wasting food!

    Always Use your nose when first getting 'em out of the fridge! If they smell OK, then fine! With any meat, you'll know straightaway if it's off! I always think the makers err on the side of caution with these sell-by dates anyway. (There hasn't always been sell-by dates you know!) Incidentally, Tesco's finest are the only kind of sausages we eat in our house! (I wouldn't touch Walls's with a bargepole! Ground-up junk!)

    "Common Sense is really not so common!"
  • kazmuz
    kazmuz Posts: 7 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Having worked in a supermarket I know the chillchain rules are hardly ever stuck to. Staff have only 20 minutes to get chilled food on to the shelf from the back storage chillers before products start to get to a temperature where bugs starts to breed. That together with the journey home in a nice warm car from the supermarket and the fact that most domestic fridges are probably not at the correct temp (5 degrees or lower) means that by the time food is out of date it is probably seething with bacteria - so I would not risk it - what price your health?
  • dronid
    dronid Posts: 599 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic
    I tend to freeze sausages when I get them - I often get the nice ones at half price at Tesco. Then when I want them I do something I normaly do when Barbqueing which is boil the sausages from frozen until cooked - about 5 mins and then drain off the water - and a chunk of the fat and then fry them. Always works a treat and the sausages seem particularly juicy and don't split'n'twist - they hold their shape. Adds only 5 mins on the cooking rather than leaving them hanging around for the defrost time of 12 hours in the fridge. That way I never have to worry about them going out of date for a month.

    Sadly I've just filled a shelf of my freezer with puddings - spotted !!!!!! and the like as they were half price. So sausages and indeed any other food might be off the menu until I come out of my diabetic coma.

    I could make it better myself at home. All I need is a small aubergine...

    I moved to Liverpool for a better life.
    And goodness, it's turned out to be better and busier!
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