Waste less food - ask a stranger if they'd eat it
We're not suggesting that 'best before' and 'use by' labelling on food is less a safety initiative, more a cynical attempt to increase consumption. However, it's fair to say it's hardly the most accurate science practised by retailers and producers. How quickly fresh food deteriorates depends on a number of variables, yet we're told to follow the guidelines - especially 'use by' dates - to the letter.
Plenty of us trust our noses and guts over the labelling - if it's not rancid, slimy or stinking like a French youth hostel then there's a good chance it's still good to throw in a bolognaise. This rather imprecise art has been turned into a forum called Food Safety For the Cheap and Adventurous. You tell the other forum members what you have lurking in your fridge, and they'll tell you whether you should scoff it or not. Unsurprisingly, it's hardly consistent in its advice:
Hi everyone, I left milk out in a warm room overnight for about 8 hours. Is it still safe for me to drink?
- You could put it back in the fridge to get cold and it'll be okay for a couple days but it's going to spoil a whole lot faster.
- I would toss it. If it is not cold to touch, it is not edible.
- It should still be safe, although it might taste off. You could still use it for cooking, though.
- Milk comes outta the cow warm, not cold. Warm milk, 8 hour warm milk, is fine. Drink it all ya want.
That's that sorted, then. So even less scientific, and based on subjective opinion and fishwive's tales. Better to pay close attention to those 'use by' labels, or even (whisper it) decide for yourself. Unless it's Butterkist popcorn that contains rice weevils, that is.
via [The Consumerist]