The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-10-2009, 05:41 AM
Imasquare Imasquare is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Salami-- "Use By" date (modified title)

How long is hard salami (Hot Spanish) safe to eat after its expiry date?

I bought a nice 250 gram salami last week and after eating half of it noticed the Use By sticker. It expired in May 2006.

It still tasted good and I didn't get sick or die. Was I just lucky?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 12-10-2009, 05:56 AM
Floater Floater is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
If it tastes good and you don't get sick it's perfectly OK. Use by or best before dates does not necessarily mean that the item for some mysterious reason goes bad over night.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-10-2009, 06:21 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,597
Where the hell did you buy it?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-10-2009, 06:23 AM
Imasquare Imasquare is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
If it tastes good and you don't get sick it's perfectly OK. Use by or best before dates does not necessarily mean that the item for some mysterious reason goes bad over night.
I am concerned that although I didn't get sick someone else who eats one might. I don't get sick from eating dodgy food very easily.

The supermarket that I bought it from has many more and they all have the 2006 use by date. I would tell them about it but I am in Korea and don't speak any Korean at all.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-10-2009, 06:24 AM
Imasquare Imasquare is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
Where the hell did you buy it?
E-Mart in Suwon, South Korea.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-10-2009, 06:33 AM
Nava Nava is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
What, whole pieces? They get the sticker due to government regulations, it officially counts as "raw meat." If it had gone bad you would have noticed (having the general consistency of a concrete wall doesn't count as "gone bad").

Many of those dried meats used to be considered "too raw to be sold" if they were less than one year old; it wasn't unusual to get pieces that were 5yo or so. Now selling a 5yo ham or salchichón is against the law but many people who make them at home still won't offer anything below 2yo to visitors (legally unsellable).

Last edited by Nava; 12-10-2009 at 06:34 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-10-2009, 06:41 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: <--- <--- <---
Posts: 15,058
Assure me that I'm not the only one who expected the subject line to be followed by "rock bands"...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-10-2009, 08:11 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 51,914
Smell and taste are not always reliable indicators of whether food is safe to eat, because some of the pathogens that make spoiled food dangerous aren't particularly smelly, and some that are smelly aren't necessarily dangerous.

But that's more relevant to fresh foods, especially fresh foods cut into pieces.

For salami that is whole, dry and salty, the end of shelf life is usually caused by rancidity of fats, or drying to unpalatable bone-hardness, so in these cases, if it seems good, it probably still is.

Also, the use by date on these sorts of products is more to do with stock rotation than expiry.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-10-2009, 10:53 AM
wolfman wolfman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
A couple weeks ago I bought a Summer sausage at the Grocery store. When I sliced it, the slice it was approximately half normal redish Summer sausage and half a sickly looking grey. I assumed it was porbably a leak in the package, and oxidation related. I debated for about 5 minutes whether I should just eat it, only eat the red part, or through the whole thing out. IO decided that if I did eat it I would wonder if I would get sick, and the total utility of the situation pushed toward throwing it out. I don't know why but I never thought to check for an expiry date.

Anybody with a Phd in Summer sausage know about it turning grey? In case it happens again.

Last edited by wolfman; 12-10-2009 at 10:56 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-10-2009, 08:18 PM
Imasquare Imasquare is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
Smell and taste are not always reliable indicators of whether food is safe to eat, because some of the pathogens that make spoiled food dangerous aren't particularly smelly, and some that are smelly aren't necessarily dangerous.

But that's more relevant to fresh foods, especially fresh foods cut into pieces.

For salami that is whole, dry and salty, the end of shelf life is usually caused by rancidity of fats, or drying to unpalatable bone-hardness, so in these cases, if it seems good, it probably still is.

Also, the use by date on these sorts of products is more to do with stock rotation than expiry.
That's good to know. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-10-2009, 08:46 PM
Cicero Cicero is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
Also, the use by date on these sorts of products is more to do with stock rotation than expiry.
Mangetout, could you please expand on this- the use by date and stock rotation?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-10-2009, 09:53 PM
MPB in Salt Lake MPB in Salt Lake is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 4,331
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman View Post
A couple weeks ago I bought a Summer sausage at the Grocery store. When I sliced it, the slice it was approximately half normal redish Summer sausage and half a sickly looking grey. I assumed it was porbably a leak in the package, and oxidation related. I debated for about 5 minutes whether I should just eat it, only eat the red part, or through the whole thing out. IO decided that if I did eat it I would wonder if I would get sick, and the total utility of the situation pushed toward throwing it out. I don't know why but I never thought to check for an expiry date.

Anybody with a Phd in Summer sausage know about it turning grey? In case it happens again.
I am certain that if you took it back to the store you purchaced it at and showed it to the manager, he would give you a new sausage, give you your money back or very possibly both give you a refund and a free new sausage.

Even if you dont have a receipt, they will replace it, with no questions asked----Grocery stores are always willing to work with customers who have an issue with possibly spoiled food.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-10-2009, 11:13 PM
Nava Nava is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
Mangetout, could you please expand on this- the use by date and stock rotation?
Properly cured ham, chorizo and salchichón can last foreeeeeever (specially if they're not open). Spanish law currently requires all foodstuffs to be assigned a use-by date (not a "produced on" date); this date isn't really linked to the time when the food in question is expected to turn bad (in the words of a cannery owner, "if a can is bad, it's bad on day one, and if it's not it's not"), but to the legal requirement which basically was pulled out of the left elbow of a guy with a law degree.

The use-by date can be used to run "first in, first out"-type stock rotation schemes ("first expired out" is the specific one); since many of these products don't have their production date listed, you can't use that one.

One of the reasons the production date is not listed is - how do you determine it? Is it the day the pig was killed, the day the leg was hung up to dry or the casing stuffed, the day it was determined to be properly cured? A lot of brands are selling under-cured products, with the reasoning that "it's more tender:" those brands definitely can't use the third day, and if they listed the other two, it would scream "this so-called cured meat isn't anywhere near cured."
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-11-2009, 06:36 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 51,914
Yes, what Nava said. Ideally, stock turnover in a store for very long-dated goods should easily be brisk enough that nothing ever goes out of date, but in order to make sure that happens, the store needs to make sure that new stock is placed behind old, so the expiry date is still useful to them.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-11-2009, 08:05 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Miami, Florida USA
Posts: 6,752
Quote:
Originally Posted by MPB in Salt Lake View Post
I am certain that if you took it back to the store you purchaced it at and showed it to the manager, he would give you a new sausage, give you your money back or very possibly both give you a refund and a free new sausage.

Even if you dont have a receipt, they will replace it, with no questions asked----Grocery stores are always willing to work with customers who have an issue with possibly spoiled food.
This is a mom and pop grocery store in South Korea. All their sausages lare labeled as expired in 2006. Not quite the same as your local Kroger.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-11-2009, 08:17 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
Isn't there someone on this board who speaks Korean, that could give this guy a note he could print out and hand to the manager?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-11-2009, 09:28 AM
Nava Nava is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
HazelNutCoffee is Korean and I think it's one of the languages Mr. Moto speaks.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-11-2009, 10:18 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 51,914
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
This is a mom and pop grocery store in South Korea. All their sausages lare labeled as expired in 2006. Not quite the same as your local Kroger.
MPB in Salt Lake was responding to a different question from someone other than the OP
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-11-2009, 11:32 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
And there was me worrying about some Austrian sausage that's been sitting on the back shelf of my refrigerator since March this year. I'd better tuck in.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-11-2009, 11:17 PM
Nava Nava is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Is it dry sausage, though? The ones we were talking about are dry.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-12-2009, 08:15 AM
Imasquare Imasquare is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
This is a mom and pop grocery store in South Korea. All their sausages lare labeled as expired in 2006. Not quite the same as your local Kroger.
No, it's a supermarket chain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Is it dry sausage, though? The ones we were talking about are dry.
Yes, dry salami.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-12-2009, 10:03 AM
Nava Nava is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Yours yes, I meant the one in Colophon's fridge. The information given in this thread by Mangetout and myself is about dried, cured salamis and hams, not about "fresh" sausages (no matter how much or which kind of spices they have).
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-16-2009, 02:43 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 12,509
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
HazelNutCoffee is Korean and I think it's one of the languages Mr. Moto speaks.
Not a word, sorry. All I know are my favorite dishes on the menu, and even with that the nice Korean ladies smile at me tolerantly.

I used to know a smattering of Italian and Spanish, but lost both due to disuse.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.