Can I eat this? Hummus edition
April 30, 2020 3:44 PM   Subscribe

I have an unopened, still sealed with saran-wrap-like plastic under lid tub of hummus. To my chagrin, it reads "Best by 4/24/20."

"I've been told "Best By" is not "Good till." so any elaboration is welcomed.
Of course I don't want to get sick during coronavirus (for $4 worth of hummus!)
in a time of low medical resources.
but I only get (a very kind person) to shop for me
every two weeks.
What do you experts think?
posted by intrepid_simpleton to Food & Drink (10 answers total)
I'd smell it and, if it smells like it is supposed to, I'd eat it.

I suppose you could have a bit and wait a couple of hours to see if it upsets your stomach if you are really worried?
posted by bluedaisy at 3:45 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]

I would throw it away one week past the "best by" date.

Also inspect carefully--I've once had a sealed package of hummus get moldy even well before the "best by" date. Fortunately the mold was on one side and showed through the clear packaging.
posted by chromium at 3:50 PM on April 30

Unscientific opinion from someone who frequently eats expired food: It’s fine.

Still sealed, only a few days past the best by date, AND hummus doesn’t contain any meat or dairy ingredients that can go dangerously bad quickly.

Of course give it a sniff first, but I can’t imagine it’s gone bad.
posted by mekily at 3:51 PM on April 30 [15 favorites]

Yeah, you're good.
posted by General Malaise at 3:59 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]

I'd eat it if it looked and smelled ok.

This NYT article has some info about what all those dates really mean.
posted by number9dream at 4:07 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]

Hummus definitely acquires a bit of a fermented 'fizzy' vibe once it starts to turn so I think you'd know pretty quickly after opening if it wasn't ok to eat. Take a little smell/taste test first. I'd try to eat it quickly though, and not leave it hanging out in the fridge for too long.
posted by BeeJiddy at 4:16 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]

This would be marginal for me and I'd still probably eat it but I'd really try to eat it within a couple of days.

I have played fast and loose with hummus before and while it hasn't resulted in full-on incapacitating food poisoning, it's caused some intestinal upset and that hasn't been fun. But it's up to you if it's a risk you want to take.
posted by darksong at 5:13 PM on April 30

It's hard that the time of having difficulty in getting more food coincides with the time when you really don't want to have medical issues.
posted by chromium at 5:18 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]

"Best by" does not mean "Toxic after" ... give it a sniff, you should be good!
posted by mccxxiii at 6:30 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]

I eat hummus beyond it's expiry date. At a week later it's likely to be slightly fizzy/sour tasting but I have eaten hummus in this condition several times and it hasn't killed me yet.
posted by *becca* at 2:08 AM on May 1

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