Can I eat this? Expired treacle in Christmas pudding
December 12, 2013 4:50 PM   Subscribe

I bought brand-new treacle today, but accidentally used the old expired tin ""BB END MAY 2012 DISPOSE OF ON EXPIRY" instead of the new one. Nothing looked strange when I used it; I only noticed what I had done when I found the new tin with the seal still on it. The Christmas pudding will have been steamed for almost 5 hours. How dangerous might it be to eat it?

Obviously, I would tell everyone about the treacle issue and let them decide.

Unfortunately, I can't make another one because I'll be working for 17 hours tomorrow. A store-bought replacement isn't an option, because it needs to be gluten-free, nut-free and alcohol-free.
posted by sueinnyc to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh God it will be totally fine. It's just sugar. You can eat it with a complete lack of concern and there is zero reason to mention this to anyone.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:57 PM on December 12, 2013 [14 favorites]

Yup, absolutely fine.
posted by quince at 5:04 PM on December 12, 2013

I was pretty sure it would be fine but did some random wandering on the internets anyhow, and found this interesting pdf on the wayback machine. It says 12 months shelf stable for molasses (closest to treacle on the list); but I expect that's conservative and you're still totally fine here.

Also the warning might not have anything to do with food safety, but more with explodiness.. see here. So, uh, if you don't have treacle all over your kitchen, I think it's fine.
posted by nat at 5:07 PM on December 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

It will be 100% fine. Treacle is all sugar. DISPOSE OF ON EXPIRY is the company trying to get you to buy a new tin of treacle, nothing more.

If you mentioned this to me as I sat down to eat your delicious xmas pudding I would totally ignore you and dig right in, then compliment you on your delicious pudding.
posted by goo at 5:07 PM on December 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yep, I'd eat with no concerns!
posted by Youremyworld at 5:08 PM on December 12, 2013

Thank you all! I feel very reassured.

The Tate and Lyle website mentions the explodiness issue as well. I guess that I'm lucky to have escaped that result!
posted by sueinnyc at 5:12 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

The disposal notice is mainly because old tins can build up pressure and redecorate your kitchen.

The official guidance from Lyle's mentions this, but sidesteps the question of whether the treacle itself will go off. Because it won't.
posted by holgate at 5:12 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Given that the cause of the explodiness issue is gas pressure buildup due to fermentation, and that "fermentation" is just fancy talk for "going off," it seems to me that "Because it won't" is possibly a little cavalier.

But sueinnyc's treacle didn't explode, which means it wasn't significantly fermented, which means there was still more than enough sugar in it to suppress botulism, which means it will be just fine.
posted by flabdablet at 7:59 PM on December 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

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