Expiry Date: Play It Safe When It Comes to These Foods

Did you know that some foods are particularly dangerous to eat after their expiration date? Learn about them in this article!
Expiry Date: Play It Safe When It Comes to These Foods

Last update: 28 March, 2019

In trying to reduce food waste, many experts suggest taking advantage of some products that, despite reaching the expiry date, are still fine to eat.

However, this advice doesn’t apply to all food groups. In fact, some types of food can be harmful when consumed after the expiry date.

The problem is that these foods go bad more easily. Therefore, they tend to become contaminated with various types of bacteria and toxins. Of course, these affect our health.

Therefore, it’s very important to start taking seriously the expiry dates of certain products. Hence, it’s necessary to know which types of food shouldn’t be consumed when they’ve already passed their expiry date.

Here we’ll share in detail the 7 main types of food you shouldn’t eat after they’ve expired. This way, you can be cautious the next time you prepare them.

Discover them below!

Play It Safe When It Comes to the Expiry Date of These 7 Foods

1. Expiry Dates of Soft Cheeses

Pay attention to the expiry date of soft cheese.

Hard cheeses can be preserved for a long time even when they’re out of date. However, the composition of soft cheeses makes them unsafe for eating once they reach their use-by date.

These varieties of cheese are quite prone to developing harmful bacteria. An example is Listeria monocytogenes. This can lead to digestive problems and an adverse reaction of the immune system.

2. Expiry Date of Minced Meat

You must keep in mind hygiene and safety standards when it comes to cooking meat. This advice is especially important in the case of minced varieties. These are much more susceptible to contamination by harmful bacteria. A typical example is E. coli.

They facilitate the development of these types of bacteria because they provide more suitable conditions for the growth of these microorganisms.

If you eat this kind of meat past its expiry date, then you’ll have a high chance of becoming infected by:

  • E. Coli
  • Salmonella
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Staphylococcus aureus

These bacteria release dangerous toxins in the intestinal tract. As the days go by, these affect how it functions in the digestion process.

3. Expiry Dates of Berries

Don't eat berries past the expiry date.

One reason it’s recommended that you freeze berries before they ripen is that a bacterium called Cyclospora grows on their surface when they begin to decompose.
When infected by this type of bacteria, you experience very uncomfortable symptoms. These include nausea, a bloated stomach and abdominal cramps.

4. Expiry Dates of Sausages and Lunch Meats

Lunch meats contain chemicals that make them look fresh despite their age.

However, when they expire, their structure begins to decompose. This makes the probability of contamination by bacteria such as Listeria and E. coli high.

As a general rule, we recommend consuming these foods within the first week after opening the product.

5. Expiry Dates of Raw Eggs

Don't eat eggs past the expiry date.

Millions of cases of food poisoning and infections due to eating raw or expired eggs have been dealt with for many decades.

Eggs are delicious and necessary in all diets. However, it’s fundamental to handle them well. It’s equally important that you cook them safely, always before the expiry date.

You should also be careful with foods containing this ingredient. The following are some examples:

  • mayonnaise
  • flans
  • desserts
  • sauces

Among the main problems caused by consuming out-of-date eggs are intestinal infections caused by Salmonella.

6. Expiry Date of Shrimp

Shrimp changes in composition after its use-by date. However, as the days go by, it also tends to become a focal point for the growth of harmful bacteria and germs.

You should consume this nutrient-rich food as soon as possible after purchasing it.

In addition, you must prepare it on hygienic surfaces, away from other foods that may cause cross-contamination.

7. Expiry Date of Chicken

Pay attention to the expiry date of chicken.

Chicken is one of the lean meats that’s most recommended to provide amino acids and complex carbohydrates to the body.

However, when it’s raw, you must handle it very carefully on hygienic surfaces free of bacteriaThawing it incorrectly or eating it after its expiry date can lead to serious intestinal infections caused by E. coli or Salmonella.

Now that you know which foods should be discarded when they pass their expiry date, try to purchase only the amount you need and eat them before they expire.

Similarly, try to handle and store them in optimum conditions. This way, you’ll prevent them from being contaminated with harmful pathogens.

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  • García-Hernández, Ana Ma, et al. “Bacteriemias por Escherichia coli productor de betalactamasas de espectro extendido (BLEE): significación clínica y perspectivas actuales.” Revista española de quimioterapia 24.2 (2011).
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  • Rivero, Mariana A., et al. “Escherichia coli enterohemorrágica y síndrome urémico hemolítico en Argentina.” Medicina (Buenos Aires) 64.4 (2004): 352-356.