Best Before Dates

I have one of those self-contained clear plastic black pepper grinders at work. You know the ones. My friend refused to use it because it was 5 years out of date :rofl:

Once made a pizza with a 14 year old tin of tomato puree I found at the back of the cupboard. Was fine.


Been using flour that’s a couple of years out of date recently. Sift the weevils out and you’re good to go.

Seriously, it’s been fine (and not full of weevils).

I’m normally far from my best and actually quite nervous because I’m deliberately misinterpreting the question to relate to dates of the romantic kind hahaha


my boyfriend is really bad for eating out of date stuff. he got food poisoning earlier in the year after eating out of date prawn cocktail, which has at least put him off eating out of date seafood but he’s still eating other stuff out of date!

i definitely wouldn’t have eaten the stuffing because chances are it would be horrible even if it wasn’t full of mould. i will eat long life food that’s a bit out of date but i usually find that when i taste it that it’s not very nice and throw it away.

i’m pretty sure my parents have got cake decorations in the cupboard dating back to when i was a child

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When my gran died, she had quite a bit of out of date tinned food (salmon, tuna, fruit, etc) in the kitchen cupboards. My Mam used it for the wake.

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‘Use by’ yes, ‘best before’ no.

Am so pleased this thread has given me the opportunity to share this nugget I recently learned:

I have some sausages that have been in the freezer a while, and although virtually all food that you buy fresh and then freeze says ‘use within one month’ (which I broadly adhere to), I am sure I remember when I was growing up my mum having meat in the freezer for like six or nine months.

So I google it. According to something I found on a food safety website, although some foods may lose flavour or texture when frozen for long periods (e.g. chicken dries out), in its words “frozen food is safe to eat indefinitely”. Is this true?! Has anyone tested this theory? This sounds fantastic but I am far too scared to try it, although I will probably be less vigilant about throwing away frozen food in future.

On certain types of foods best before dates are basically made up, some food doesn’t go off. Chocolate for example (when the fat blooms to the surface that’s to do with the way it’s been stored, it’s not “off”). I used to work for a food company, we would periodically sit around the office and eat food from the sample cupboard that had gone out of date. The older sales people would talk about how they’d eaten canned food that had been untouched since the war, etc.

In the staff shop at work, next to the frozen stuff there’s a notice from Unilever (or one of those food companies that owns everything) stating that the best before date on frozen goods is a waste of ink.

Judge it by eye, not the date

  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Red meat
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Fruit and veg
  • Cupboard stuff
  • None of these

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By eye can include a prod or shaking an egg by your ear, btw

Judge by nose can be a pretty good indicator, especially for chicken, milk etc


I will expand to all senses other than taste. Happy?

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I remember a guy at Uni who used to buy a whole chicken and freeze it. Whenever he wanted chicken, he’d defrost the whole thing, cut the bit off he wanted to cook, then refreeze it. Fucking grim, but as far as I know he’s still alive.

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Hm, never occurred to him to cut it up THEN freeze it?

Kudos for still being alive though.

Why didn’t he just cut the whole thing up before freezing it?

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No idea. He was a friend’s flatmate so never had chance to ask.

I think probably one of the worst food related things I’ve ever experienced was when I was living in halls at Uni.

The fridge freezer broke and everyone was asked to move their stuff out of it while we waited for a replacement. Somebody must have left some meat in the freezer because when they came to remove it a few weeks later, this putrid meat juice spilled all over the carpet in the hallway. It smelled like death :nauseated_face: I spent days scrubbing the carpet with disinfectant, but nothing would get the smell out. Luckily I was due to move out a couple of weeks later, but even >10 years later that smell still haunts me.

Doing a big poo