How bad is it to eat expired food?


| 3 Comments
expired milk.jpgThis morning when I went to pour milk on my cereal the date on the milk jug said 9/19/13, realizing that today was the 20th only a day after the expiration date, I shrugged it off and poured the milk on my cereal anyways. Was eating cereal with expired milk this morning really that big of a deal?

 

An article from ABC news (Is it OK to Eat Expired Food) claims that the consensus between food scientists is that most expired food can be eaten without serious side effects. However, it seems that there is little research to back up this claim. Most scientists maintain that expired food is considered safe to be eaten, but it will not taste as good. It has been proved that if you are pregnant, an infant, or have some auto immune disease, eating expired food will cause food poisoning in most cases. Further, if the food was not handled properly before it got to the store, such as not being refrigerated, this can magnify the effects of eating expired food. The USDA supports the opinion of food scientists and maintains the viewpoint that expired food is not harmful, but that it will simply just not taste as good.

 

Another article that I read (Health Effects of Eating Expired Food) stated that eating expired food will likely lead to food poisoning. Food poisoning consists of diarrhea and vomiting that can last for weeks and in some extreme cases can lead to a fever. Further, certain foods such as nuts, apples, and grapes can grow mold called mycotoxins, which can cause itchiness, diarrhea, vomiting, and dizziness.

 

Typically I am very paranoid about eating expired food. Even though I have personally not gotten food poisoning, some of my family members have, so I am very conscious of it. So this morning when I made the decision to drink expired milk, I was mildly concerned that I might end up puking later in the day. The article from ABC news has claimed my fears that the one cup of milk I consumed this morning will lead me to vomit and have a fever. While I seem to have avoided food poisoning today, to stay on the safe side from now on I think I'll stick with eating food that is not expired.

3 Comments

Cara,
Expired food can be scary at times, but it causes me to wonder why are we able to eat foods like yogurt and blue cheese? These foods are openly known as growing bacteria. If we were to get food poisoning wouldn't we be sick from these as well? The answer to my question was found that un-pasterized milk can be dangerous but only if its rich in bacteria. Those who are more sensitive to these changes shouldn't consume these foods because they are at a greater risk of food poisoning. This link below can give you more information about what to eat and why.
http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/consumers/ucm079516.htm

I think we have all had the same experience with the expired milk. I usually get worried but this is probably because rumors about expired food blow out of proportion. I would not recommend eating old fruits in vegetables though! Even if there are not serious side effects, I still do not want food poisoning. Heres an interesting article on the topic:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/12/26/167819082/dont-fear-that-expired-food

Those sell-by dates are so that you taste food when it's at its optimum. Food companies often put on the expiration dates long before the food actually expires.

For example, that milk you're talking about? It's actually safe to drink milk a week after its sell-by date. If you smelled it and it didn't smell funky, then you're good.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/12/26/167819082/dont-fear-that-expired-food

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