How serious is salmonella, really?
February 14, 2011 6:42 PM Subscribe
How flexible are y'all with expiration dates on food?
posted by geegollygosh to health & fitness (32 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I come from a family where if food is past it's expiration date you look at it, and if it looks fine you smell it, and if it smells fine you taste it, and if it tastes fine you eat it.
So logically I've carried this practice into (semi)adulthood, where I now live with four other people scrutinizing my food habits. Several of my housemates will throw things out the moment they reach the 'sell by' date and it's sort of been a running joke that I'm the one who'll drink juice a month past it's expiration date if it doesn't taste bad or scrape mold off the top of jelly and eat the rest (I only did it because it was really really delicious homemade jelly). Recently, my bio-chem studying housemate took it up a notch by telling me that I'd only do something like that because I don't understand the molecular-whatever-whatever of mold on food/ all the sightless, odorless bacteria lurking in my expired food.
He meant it as a joke (sort of) but it got me wondering. Am I really off base with how I treat expired food? Is botulism in my future? How seriously do you guys take food expiration dates?
For the record, I don't really eat much meat and really never cook it, so that's not really part of the picture. As an added detail, throughout extensive travel in developing nations I don't really ever feel sick even when my travel companions are praying for death to end the suffering that a piece of contaminated lettuce inflicted upon them, so maybe I just have a stomach of steel.