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Best-before and expiration dates of foods: what you should know

Best-before and expiration dates of foods: what you should know

All foods always have an expiry date. The expiry date of products depends on the food products themselves. It varies from one product to another. Even after expiry dates, some food can still be taken without any side effects. Eating a carrot a day after the indicated expiry date does not pose a great danger to your body as compared to eating a piece of pork.

Date Types

Different commodities bear “sell-by date” and “best before” labels that serve different purposes. The sell-by date refers to the date the food will be discarded. The latter refers to the date when the quality and taste of the food will start to deteriorate. However, these days do serve different purposes depending on the type of product. Canned food usually expires after one year but if it was sterilized under high pressure in its final treatment of product, it can still be used for longer than one year.

Best-before and expiration dates of foods: what you should know

Major effects of eating expired foods

Eating expired foods poses a great danger to your health. Some of the dangers include:

1. Food poisoning

Some foods do trigger food poisoning immediately after their expiry date. The symptoms and health effects depend on the type of poison in the food. Some of the signs that you have taken food with poison include frequent vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps and persistent dehydration. The symptoms may last for a few hours, some days or weeks depending on the harmful effects of the poison.

2. Listeria illness

Many expired foods are infested by Listeria bacteria. The bacteria mainly infests milk and meat products especially the expired ones. It is not always advisable to assume that all types of foods can still be consumed after their expiry date. Only dry foods are considered safe for consumption after the expiry date. All liquid beverages are considered very harmful to health after their expiry dates.

Signs That Can Be Used To Determine if food is Expired

1. Opening of the jar

Foods in jars can easily be said to have expired by looking at the cap of the jar. If the cap is bulging, the food is already spoiled. But when the cap is flat or even, the food may still be in good condition.

2. Molds

Many expired foods do grow mold on their surfaces. The molds do produce toxic substances as they develop. Eating such foods could result in dizziness, itchiness, nausea, and sometimes headaches. If you notice the growth of mold on any food, the best option is to throw it away.

Expiry dates on some products like condoms, antibiotics, and even potency tablets are taken as a market ploy by some people. Studies carried out on canned food revealed that if it is kept in an area with no extreme temperatures, it can last for three years.

Foods are always perishable immediately after their manufacturing process. Different foods take different periods to expire. Some foods can still be eaten even after expiring but caution should be taken while doing so. Moreover, the side effects of eating expiry foods vary depending on the type of food and the poison it contains.

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