The expiration date is the time until which the product must be used. Manufacturers do not define it themselves: SanPiN and technical regulations indicate a specific period for products from a specific group. For example, the shelf life of raw vegetable salads is up to 18 hours at +2 to +6 ° C. And for bulk goods, this period is calculated from the date of manufacture. Therefore, the exact date and time of production must be indicated on the packaging and not just the date of packaging.
Anastasia Semenova, PhD, explains that the manufacturer is responsible for the safety and quality of the product until the expiration date. It is forbidden to sell expired products, even at a reduced price, as it is not known how dangerous they have become. Nor can you give them away for free, otherwise the store will be fined.
In addition to the expiration date, labels often indicate the expiration date. This is the time when the product does not lose the properties defined in the regulatory and technical documentation. If the storage period has expired, this does not mean that the product can no longer be used. For example, boiled condensed milk can be candied before its expiration date, but it can still be sold and consumed.
It is important to remember that if storage conditions are violated, any food can spoil prematurely. For example, if you place the dried fruit in an airtight glass jar or cloth bag, they will retain their flavor and aroma for up to 12 months. And in a plastic bag, they can mold quickly.
Gastroenterologist-immunologist Nadezhda Korolkova argues that people who consume expired products endanger their health. Such food contains bacteria and fungi that cause toxicity to the body. Your doctor will advise you not to buy products that expire in a few days, as well as products with re-affixed labels and illegible labels.
With rotten products, the expert advises to separate immediately. Cutting the mold alone is not enough, even if the stain is very small. The fact is that the fungus spores penetrate deep into the product and contaminate it with toxins. This also applies to the “missing” mold in the cheese.
Many housewives believe that heat treatment eliminates the damage of expired products. Indeed, most fungi and bacteria die at temperatures above 100-130 ° C, but the mycotoxins they secrete remain. Therefore, it is impossible, for example, to prepare jam and compote from rotten fruit. The consequences can be more dangerous than ordinary poisoning. For example, spoiled apples and tomatoes contain the mycotoxin patulin. In large doses, it has a carcinogenic effect, affecting the nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.
Most expired items are recyclable. It is forbidden to cook salads, canned food and other products from it. Flour, cereals, milk, meat, vegetables, legumes and fruits are accepted by the livestock farms. Expired products given to feed must undergo a veterinary inspection, confirming their safety. After that, they are given in their natural form or converted into compound food.
In order not to throw away unnecessary products, you must approach their purchase and storage responsibly. Here are some helpful tips:
Schedule your menu for the week and make a shopping list. Get only what you need for the next few days.
Do not stock. Taking three liters of kefir for a promotion can seem like a great success. But it is possible that after two cups you will want something else, and the sour product will go in the bucket. And in a cupboard full of cereal, bugs that arrived there from one of the packages can start.
Do not visit the supermarket too often. First, make sure you have nothing to cook dinner with. It is best to get the bread in a small shop, where you will not be tempted to pick up a whole cart with food.
Store food properly in the refrigerator. Foods with a short shelf life should be placed closer to the back wall and bottom shelves. And place water, cans, ketchup and other products that are not sensitive to temperature conditions on the refrigerator door.
Dry food. Mushrooms, apples, herbs can be dried in the oven or in a special dryer (dehumidifier).
Use a freezer. For example, cut the remaining pumpkin into cubes and freeze. In this format, it is stored for a whole year.
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