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  #51  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:46 PM
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Most varieties of visible food mold are mostly harmless. The problem is that it's very difficult to distinguish the harmless ones from the harmful ones. If your dog didn't get sick from the mold, then most likely, you wouldn't have, either. But either of you might have gotten sick.
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Most varieties of visible food mold are mostly harmless. The problem is that it's very difficult to distinguish the harmless ones from the harmful ones. If your dog didn't get sick from the mold, then most likely, you wouldn't have, either. But either of you might have gotten sick.
Thank you, Mr. Moldy Answer Man!
  #53  
Old 09-25-2019, 07:38 AM
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The UK is "Obama Country"? OK.
It was a whole thing.
  #54  
Old 09-26-2019, 08:53 AM
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I make a living buying and selling food items close to, or past the best by date.


Think about it like this:

You are Yoplait, and you know your product has a shelf life of 90 days. Are you going to risk your brand with someone buy your product from the store, and itís bad already? No, your going to put 30-45 days on the date.

Beyond that, yogurt is an active culture, so it takes an exceptionally long time to go bad, we routinely sell yogurt 30 days past the date.


Best by and Use by are suggested dates for best quality, they are in no way a safety date.

Eat it up
  #55  
Old 09-26-2019, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
The other evening I took a chunk of monterey jack cheese* into the family room to snack on while watching football on TV, setting aside an edge that had a couple of moldy spots. I made the mistake of not keeping a close eye on Pluto the field spaniel, who made a lightning pass at the table and snagged the moldy part.

He seems to be fine. For the Thursday night game I'll test him on aging kefir and moldy strawberries.

*yes, I am a cheese gourmet.
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Most varieties of visible food mold are mostly harmless. The problem is that it's very difficult to distinguish the harmless ones from the harmful ones. If your dog didn't get sick from the mold, then most likely, you wouldn't have, either. But either of you might have gotten sick.
Yes, but a lot of the molds that aren't harmful still taste unpleasant. I avoid all unexpected mold for quality reasons, not because I'm worried about my health.

(although... when I've seen mold on meat I've been worried about my health -- and I won't just cut off the moldy part, the whole thing goes in the trash.)
  #56  
Old 09-26-2019, 09:47 AM
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Thanks again for all the helpful comments.

I'm still fine - and now have some freshly-bought yoghurt.
I do try not to waste food - it's a little trickier when you're single and have no pet.

Also I am in the UK. I just wanted to support Obama in his quest to help Americans without health insurance.
  #57  
Old 09-27-2019, 09:29 AM
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2019.

I'm a bit wary of drinking from a bottle that's been in the fridge for months, but I haven't yet keeled over from bad kefir.
So it's, er, in date? Dec 1st 2019 is months away!
  #58  
Old 09-27-2019, 06:49 PM
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Let me just say that diet coke that is over a year old is undrinkable.
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  #59  
Old 09-27-2019, 07:56 PM
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Let me just say that diet coke that is over a year old is undrinkable.
That's because the artificial sweetener breaks down. I don't think it's actually dangerous, just disgusting.
  #60  
Old 09-28-2019, 08:01 AM
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I don't drink coffee myself, but keep some for guests (in a sealed jar.)

I recently made a cup for a friend and he said it was fine. The coffee granules were 15 years old!
  #61  
Old 09-28-2019, 11:05 AM
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Like Mr. Deals - in the past I've worked in the food business and he is 100% correct (as are others) that although there is an element of safety, the dates dramatically err on the side of short code dates to encourage consumers to toss out the products. Why? They sell more.

I once sold a major national brand of cream cheese and we had a "Best Before" of (I think) 60 or 90 days from when it was made. Our internal tests showed that stored in a fridge and unopened after 12 months it had no chemical differences (i.e.: no bacterial contamination etc) and there were no perceived taste differences. Even when opened, if stored properly it last many many months. [Even after 24 months, there were no contamination issues but it did taste "different" - not bad, but just "different" when compared side by side to the newer product]

If you google "food waste due to short product expiry dates" this a a very hot topic these days. Most consumers toss out food that is even close to the "use by" or "best before" date out of fear.

Congrats to the OP for having the sense to question it. There's a fair bit of pressure growing on manufacturers and governments to do something to make the dates more realistic and cut the massive waste this generates.

A good story from the Guardian:
https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...tes-food-waste
  #62  
Old 09-28-2019, 12:21 PM
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Let me just say that diet coke that is over a year old is undrinkable.
Diet coke straight out of the bottling plant is undrinkable.

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Originally Posted by glee View Post
I don't drink coffee myself, but keep some for guests (in a sealed jar.)

I recently made a cup for a friend and he said it was fine. The coffee granules were 15 years old!
Well, the ganules won't go "bad" in the sense that bacteria or mold will grow on them. They're way too dry for such microbes to thrive. This is why stuff like sugar and peanut butter doesn't go bad easily.

However, that coffee still will lose some of the taste because the more volitile chemicals will evaporate away in that time. The sealing keeps that to a minimum, which is why it still tasted acceptable. However, it would not taste as good as newly made stuff. If you're planning on pleasing your friends, dump the old and get some fresh.

Last edited by dtilque; 09-28-2019 at 12:25 PM.
  #63  
Old 09-28-2019, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by GMANCANADA View Post
...I once sold a major national brand of cream cheese and we had a "Best Before" of (I think) 60 or 90 days from when it was made. Our internal tests showed that stored in a fridge and unopened after 12 months it had no chemical differences (i.e.: no bacterial contamination etc) and there were no perceived taste differences. Even when opened, if stored properly it last many many months. [Even after 24 months, there were no contamination issues but it did taste "different" - not bad, but just "different" when compared side by side to the newer product]...
We recently got a new fridge and threw out all sorts of stuff that had been lurking in the back of the old one. Including an unopened package of cream cheese that was 3 or 4 years past it's use-by date. Okay, I didn't open it to check. But I have to say, I was surprised that it felt completely normal -- not harder or softer or puffier or... really, it looked exactly like a brand new package.

Still, if we hadn't eaten it in 4 years, we probably didn't need it. I did eat a single-serving yogurt that was several months past it's use-by date as part of the same clean-up. It was fine.

(We also now have a cluster of 4 small containers of mayonnaise. I suppose I should toss all but the most recent, if only for the space.)
  #64  
Old 09-29-2019, 11:12 AM
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Well, the ganules won't go "bad" in the sense that bacteria or mold will grow on them. They're way too dry for such microbes to thrive. This is why stuff like sugar and peanut butter doesn't go bad easily.

However, that coffee still will lose some of the taste because the more volitile chemicals will evaporate away in that time. The sealing keeps that to a minimum, which is why it still tasted acceptable. However, it would not taste as good as newly made stuff. If you're planning on pleasing your friends, dump the old and get some fresh.
Since he said "jar" I assumed he meant instant coffee which will keep for a reasonably long time. Had it been roasted coffee beans -- ground or whole -- I wouldn't try them past about three months due to quality loss.

I like to read Westerns and something that came up a lot was Arbuckles' Coffee. I did some research and found that back then, before vacuum-sealed cans, roasted coffee would not keep long. If you were going to make a six-month long trip to California or drive a bunch of cows from Texas to Wyoming, you'd buy a sack of intact green coffee beans which would keep. This meant, though, that you had to roast that day's batch of beans in a skillet and grind them if you were lucky, or bash them with a rock if you weren't.

This guaranteed an uneven roast and was a royal PITA but it was all they had until Arbuckles' discovered and patented a method of coating roast beans in a wash of egg whites and sugar which kept the oxygen away from each individual bean. It was an instant big huge hit and became a generic word for coffee -- "Don't talk to me in the morning until I have my Arbuckle's."

The original company is long gone but a roaster in Tucson has revived the brand, using the original label. I doubt they do the egg wash but they do put the traditional peppermint candy stick in each bag; cookie would use it to reward the cowboy who volunteered to grind the coffee.

Last edited by DesertDog; 09-29-2019 at 11:13 AM.
  #65  
Old 09-29-2019, 12:18 PM
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Since he said "jar" I assumed he meant instant coffee which will keep for a reasonably long time.
Well, yes, I knew it was instant, but 15 years is stretching the meaning of "reasonably long time". And note that evaporation of more volatile compounds applies to other things as well. It's the main reason crackers and cookies go stale, for example. So I still recommend ditching the old and getting fresh.
  #66  
Old 09-29-2019, 12:38 PM
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I think when give answers, it might be useful to specify whether the answer is relevant to the question of “it won’t taste the best,” “it’s not safe to eat,” “it won’t kill you but weird things will be growing in it,” etc.
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Last edited by Acsenray; 09-29-2019 at 12:39 PM.
  #67  
Old 09-29-2019, 01:56 PM
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When Hostess looked to be going under back in 2012, I bought a 1 lb. Hostess Holiday Fruit Cake on a whim, while grocery shopping. I had never bought one before. Call it my "get rich quick" scheme. I had visions of selling it on Ebay to some poor soul who couldn't do without, if they became scarce and valuable. . It was December of 2012, and it said "Use by Feb 15."

I never knew if the "15" meant the fifteenth day of the following Feb, or the year 2015. In any event, it is still untouched in the back of my fridge, and looks the same as the day I bought it.
  #68  
Old 09-29-2019, 04:25 PM
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I think when give answers, it might be useful to specify whether the answer is relevant to the question of “it won’t taste the best,” “it’s not safe to eat,” “it won’t kill you but weird things will be growing in it,” etc.
Okay, I can't imagine that anything dangerous would happen to instant coffee in a jar, but I'd toss it after a couple of years and get fresh for flavor reasons. I also decided to toss all the mayonnaise in my fridge today. The most recent said use by 2016, and it looked like it had "cracked". If we need mayonnaise, we can buy a new small jar.

Last edited by puzzlegal; 09-29-2019 at 04:25 PM.
  #69  
Old 09-29-2019, 06:53 PM
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Another survivor of eating months past best by date yogurt checking in. If it hasn't been opened, then it probably isn't moldy. Inspect. Sniff. Taste. Devour.
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  #70  
Old 10-03-2019, 03:49 AM
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Well, yes, I knew it was instant, but 15 years is stretching the meaning of "reasonably long time". And note that evaporation of more volatile compounds applies to other things as well. It's the main reason crackers and cookies go stale, for example. So I still recommend ditching the old and getting fresh.
I appreciate that there will be a loss of taste.

It shows how little I entertain (or have visitors who ask for coffee), that my 15 year old jar of coffee is still nearly full.
  #71  
Old 10-03-2019, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by GMANCANADA View Post
I once sold a major national brand of cream cheese and we had a "Best Before" of (I think) 60 or 90 days from when it was made. Our internal tests showed that stored in a fridge and unopened after 12 months it had no chemical differences (i.e.: no bacterial contamination etc) and there were no perceived taste differences. Even when opened, if stored properly it last many many months. [Even after 24 months, there were no contamination issues but it did taste "different" - not bad, but just "different" when compared side by side to the newer product]
I can confirm that unopened, refrigerated year-old Philadelphia brand cream cheese is indistinguishable from fresh. Our office tradition is to buy coffee and bagels once a month. The responsible person rotates and it takes a bit over a year to make the loop around. One month it was my turn but there was a miscommunication and two of us bought bagels and cream cheese. I threw my unopened package of cream cheese in my office fridge and mostly forgot about it. One year later, it was my turn again. I bought a fresh block but, out of curiosity, I pulled the old cream cheese out of my fridge. The taste and texture were exactly like the fresh block. Yes, I served year old cream cheese to my colleagues side by side with the new one. No one noticed the difference and everyone was fine.
  #72  
Old 10-03-2019, 09:39 AM
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Speaking of eating old food, this guy on YouTube collects and eats very old MREs. He's highly entertaining.

https://youtu.be/IVO8smkZKPU
  #73  
Old 10-03-2019, 09:47 AM
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I like to read Westerns and something that came up a lot was Arbuckles' Coffee. I did some research and found that back then, before vacuum-sealed cans, roasted coffee would not keep long. If you were going to make a six-month long trip to California or drive a bunch of cows from Texas to Wyoming, you'd buy a sack of intact green coffee beans which would keep. This meant, though, that you had to roast that day's batch of beans in a skillet and grind them if you were lucky, or bash them with a rock if you weren't.

This guaranteed an uneven roast and was a royal PITA but it was all they had until Arbuckles' discovered and patented a method of coating roast beans in a wash of egg whites and sugar which kept the oxygen away from each individual bean. It was an instant big huge hit and became a generic word for coffee -- "Don't talk to me in the morning until I have my Arbuckle's."
That's interesting (the part in red). I wonder if that coffee came out a little foamy (from the egg whites) and kind of sweet.

...

I wish I had seen these posts about cream cheese earlier -- at my wife's request, I've often thrown out blocks of cream cheese only a few days past the expiration date I could've been bringing those to work all this time.
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