Can I eat it? (I did.) Breakfast of expired ham and not green eggs.
May 24, 2011 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Will I regret having eaten expired canadian bacon? What's the worst thing that could happen? I think I'm experiencing phantom food poisoning symptoms, help!

Made breakfast sandwiches for self and partner this morning but noticed the "sell by" date on the unopened package of Canadian bacon was May 11, 2011. I called "Land O Lakes" and asked if it was okay but was told they only guarantee their products one week past their sell by date. Since the woman could not see or smell the product, she could not advise on whether it was safe to eat.

It wasn't milky or slimy and smelled fine so I made it and ate it. Now I'm scared! If the past Friday was the last day they would guarantee the product, do you think it's okay to eat it 4 days past that point? I'm mostly worried that I might have poisoned my partner..
posted by loquat to Food & Drink (14 answers total)
You're fine. Sell-by dates are not Consume-by dates. If it didn't look bad, odds are pretty good that it wasn't bad.
posted by Etrigan at 7:45 AM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Four days after the "sell by" date is fine for consumption. It is not as if the bacon went bad at 11:59pm on 5/10/11. "Sell by" is used by the retailer to determine how long they should be holding the item on their shelves before quality begins to decline. "Use by" however, is a entirely different story...
posted by ps_im_awesome at 7:47 AM on May 24, 2011

I ate meat that was off the other day. If it was off, the first thing you'll know about it won't be a tip-off from MeFi, and that's all I'll say on the matter.
posted by greenish at 7:53 AM on May 24, 2011 [11 favorites]

You'll almost definitely be fine. If you want to feel less anxious, be prepared for the worst. Make sure you have bland foods like rice and toast on hand in case you get sick, and stay hydrated.
posted by desjardins at 7:54 AM on May 24, 2011

You're fine. Our noses, eyes and tastebuds have evolved for centuries to keep us safe from rotten things. Vacuum-packed bacon will be fine.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:54 AM on May 24, 2011

Best answer: It's not 4 days past the sell-by date, it's almost two weeks. 4 days past the point where the company guarantees the product.

I still think you're fine, though. If it were something that were going to cause problems, you probably would have noticed an off taste or smell. Unless your partner is pregnant, I would not be worried at all.
posted by phunniemee at 7:55 AM on May 24, 2011

Bacon is so highly processed that you should not worry at all.
posted by mareli at 7:58 AM on May 24, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for your responses! I am relieved and my partner reports no ill effects either.
posted by loquat at 8:11 AM on May 24, 2011

also, note that most food poisoning is not felt for about 24 hours. Anything your feeling now is most likely too soon to be food poisoning.
posted by alkupe at 8:13 AM on May 24, 2011

Expiration dates mean very little. What is more important is how well it was stored; the expiration dates are more for the company's protection (to give them an out if there is a problem) than yours.
posted by TedW at 8:54 AM on May 24, 2011

Any time I make contact with someone with a stomach bug or the like, I feel queasy upon finding out I may have been exposed to it. The feeling passes. It's mental; you'll be fine.
posted by randomkeystrike at 9:30 AM on May 24, 2011

Also, for future reference - most food poisoning actually takes 24- 48 hours to cause symptoms.

(On preview, alkupe beat me too it. Its still true though, and for some reason most people don't seem to know)
posted by stillnocturnal at 9:30 AM on May 24, 2011

Not to rain on the parade, but in an effort to educated food poisoning, depending on type, can take days before you have symptoms.

I'm not saying your bacon was bad, but felt I needed to put the information out there.
posted by 6:1 at 9:45 AM on May 24, 2011

Of things that go from safe to make you absolutely miserable in a week or two, I'd put bacon and ham pretty low on the list. Not that you can't overcome this through contamination or bad food handling practices, so don't take this as a personal challenge.

The phatom poisoning thing is really annoying though. My world for the last month has been full of staph enterotoxin quantitation. I'm just now getting over wondering if every little twitch my digestive tract does to move lunch down the line isn't a sign that I'm about to be spending a few days being very very unhappy.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:01 PM on May 24, 2011

« Older Help me help a designer learn to program   |   How do I get over my ambivalance about... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.