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Current Position:Home » News » Recalls & Alerts » Alerts & Food Safety » Topic

Can food beyond its shelf life be eaten?

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2019-01-09  Origin: cfsn.cn/  Views: 16
Core Tip: There is a food with shelf-life of just to 2018.12.31, by 2019.1.1 is expired? Is expired food "bad"?
There is a food with shelf-life of just to 2018.12.31, by 2019.1.1 is expired? Is expired food "bad"? This should start with the origin of the shelf life.

Significance of shelf life

The shelf-life is accompanied by the food industry and food circulation. Before that, there was no concept of shelf-life for food, only good or bad, or whether it could be eaten or not.

To sell to consumers, food produced by food factories needs to be stored, transported, placed on store shelves, and waiting for consumers to buy.

If food deteriorates and tastes bad, who should be responsible? Is it a manufacturer or a consumer? With a shelf life, this problem will be easy to handle.

The shelf-life is actually a promise made by food producers to consumers: "Within the shelf-life, the food is broken, count me." Businessmen can't sell expired food, otherwise it's illegal, but if you buy it home and put it out of date, it's irresponsible for the manufacturer to eat the wrong food.

How to Determine the Shelf Life

Every kind of food’s research and development should consider the issue of shelf life, including the most common bacterial spoilage, also including fatty acid decay of Hala taste, caking, deliquescence, discoloration, precipitation, crystallization and other issues, in order to ensure that food from the factory to consumption period is safe and reliable.

The shelf life should be matched with the storage conditions, such as normal temperature, light avoidance, heat avoidance, refrigeration, freezing and so on.

If preservation conditions are not complied with, the shelf life of food is likely to shrink, or even lose security, such as quick-frozen food can not leave the cold chain.

The shelf life is generally determined by "stability test" or "shelf life test".

It is to put food in a constant temperature and humidity test box which is close to the real storage conditions, and take a batch every other time to see the preservation effect, including microorganisms, sensory indicators, physical and chemical indicators.

If the time is too long, we can do "accelerated test" in high temperature and humidity environment, and then use the formula to calculate, such as 3 months to simulate 1 year.

If the experiment proves that a year and a half is OK, then the shelf life may be set as one year, because in reality, food may experience fluctuations in temperature and humidity, changes in light, transport turbulence and so on, which requires an insurance factor.

After the general products are appeared in the market, manufacturers will also verify the validity of the shelf life period according to the actual sampling results of shelves and customer complaints and other information.

Food near to the shelf life

The food near to the shelf life. Businessmen usually and regularly check stocks and shelves and find them out.Businessmen can sell food near to the shelf life.

On the one hand, consumers can enjoy really good quality and low price goods, on the other hand, it also avoids bad manufacturers to re-sell expiring food after renovation or labeling.

In foreign countries, it is a common practice for businesses to sell or donate these kinds of foods near to the shelf life directly to charities. For example, in Canada, the United States and Germany, there are fairly perfect food relief mechanisms to provide basic food security for low-income people.

Can I eat it after expiration?

Many people think that expired food is inedible, but in fact it is not.

In the vast majority of cases, fresh expired food is completely edible, because there is enough room for shelf life, but the merchants are not allowed to sell expired food.

But there is no exact answer as to how long it will last. In fact, as long as the quality is not a problem, it can be eaten.

In the 2004 edition of the General Principles for Labelling Prepackaged Foods, it was also clearly stated that "beyond the shelf life, pre-packaged food may still be edible within a certain period of time."

Of course, the current standard has removed this statement, after all, we can not "encourage" to eat expired food in the standard.

Globally, the waste caused by food expiration is astonishing. At the same time, there are a lot of people who do not have enough to eat because of poverty and other reasons.

As a result, supermarkets specializing in the sale of expired food have emerged in developed countries, bringing good news to the poor.

The general purpose is to maximize the social benefits of food. Otherwise, expired food is not only a waste, but also an environmental burden.

Consumption suggestions

First of all, we should avoid impulsive consumption when buying food. We should not stock up a lot because of preferential promotion, which seems to take up too much cheapness.

Secondly, we should pay attention to the shelf life of products sold by price reduction, promotion and bundling. They are often foods near to the expiration date. If you're going to buy it and eat it right away, you might as well choose it. It's very cost-effective.

Thirdly, once food packaging is opened, the shelf life will be invalidated, just as the "out of the box is not responsible" in the bank. So the food should be eaten as soon as possible after opening the package, and the food that can not be eaten should be sealed and preserved.

Fourth, if the food is out of date at home, it depends on you.

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