Friday, February 27, 2015

Food Expiration Dates and Shelf Life

           A couple of days ago, a package of goodies from a relative in New Zealand arrived at our doorstep. It was sent August of last year and was expected to get here in the Philippines after a couple of months. Transit of cargoes were very late and went on very slow due to port congestion. That must be the reason why the package arrived at a later date than expected.
           Our excitement about the package was quickly replaced by disappointment. Most of the goods- cookies, candies, chocolates, canned foods were past their expiration dates and shelf life. Off to the trash bin they went. Someone from our household was hesitant to throw them away. That brings me to the point of telling everyone (and post about it, too) about food and other perishables' expiration dates. Should we really dispose products past their expiration date?  Is it safe to eat or use them for some time after?
           First off, check the date. Be aware that different countries use different date formats. In the U.S.A. ,02/10/15 means February 10, 2015. Whereas the same date in Europe or UK would mean 2 October, 2015. Some food has two dates indicated on their labels. They can either be the date when they were manufactured and the expiration date.

          Shelf life (as defined by The Free Dictionary) is the length of  time a product may be stored without becoming unsuitable for use or consumption. Different types of food use different terminologies to indicate their shelf life.
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