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The Truth About Expiry Dates

Updated on June 21, 2015

Not Always Expired

According to dozens of research that have been conducted over the last few decades, up to 30% of expiry dates are too early. Today, more and more people are questioning whether or not it is safe to eat "expired" food. Many companies, such as canned foods company, are printing early expiry dates to trick people - they want people to throw away their canned food and buy more. No one likes throwing away food, but it is better than getting food poisoning. But is the date printed on the package the slightest bit true? In this article, you will learn how to recognize foods past their expiry dates that aren't actually expired.

What do you do with your expired food or drink?

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Bottled Water

Water is obviously an absolutely essential part of the diet. It is needed for our cells and it acts as a solvent in our body. It is very often proven that water never expires - so why on Earth is there an expiry date printed on the bottle?

That is because the expiry date is actually for the bottle, not for the water. When the plastic bottle expires, it may release toxic chemicals into the water. This can make you feel very ill, so it is advised you don't drink water from an expired bottle. The best thing to do before it expires is to transfer the water into a glass container in order to save it for the future.



A few weeks back, my favorite plain yogurt was expired by just one day; there were no signs of mold and it smelt perfectly fine. After doing a quick search, I found out that it should be perfect to eat. After eating it, I experienced so issues or symptoms at all! Many other people have claimed that eating expired yogurt is perfectly fine.

The truth is, the date is usually for the grocery store. It tells the supermarket when they should discard it. However, this date is usually a week before the actual expiry date. Therefore, the best thing to do is to carefully observe the yogurt. Is there are any mold growing on it? Does it smell sour? If everything looks and smells fine, there should be nothing wrong with eating it.

Fruits and Vegetables

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the expiry date usually means very little. A simple way is a quick smell check. Slice it open and give it a very quick sniff. Does it smell normal? If it does, then there's a good chance that you could still eat it. Also, if there is no change in coloration or if there is no mold visible, that should also be a sign that it is still edible.

Papaya. | Source
Canned fish.
Canned fish. | Source

Canned Food

Most people would hesitate to eat a can of baked beans that was "expired" a few months back. The truth is that throwing away canned food is the equivalent of throwing away your money. There is NO harm in eating expired canned food. The date printed is usually "best before". This encourages customers to throw it away and buy more.

Canned food are designed to be eternally safe to eat and they will remain microbe-free for an infinite number of years. Although they might look different, the safeness and nutritional value will almost always remain intact. Bonus points for smart marketing.


Another classic one, it is usually safe to eat an egg weeks and even months after purchase. Most of the time, the expiry date is way too early. A quick way to confirm the safety is to put into a glass of water. If it sinks to the bottom, it is perfectly safe to consume. However, if it floats, it is rotten and should be discarded immediately.

Pop corn!
Pop corn! | Source

Sugary and Salty Foods

Chocolate, sweets, crisps and popcorn can usually still be enjoyed a week after the expiry date. This is because sugar and salt are both natural preservatives and they will prevent the food from going bad for a much longer time than the manufacturer expected. In the olden days, people used sugar, salt, vinegar or a combination of the three to help them keep food longer when food was scarce. Therefore, the presence of sugar and salt just may do the trick to extend the life of the snack for a bonus week or two.

Now that you know how to recognize unexpired food past their expiry date, you will now save yourself a lot of money! Just by using these simple tricks to confirm the food's edibility, you can safely chow down on a delicious bit of food without feeling guilty of throwing it away.


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