Expiration dates. What do they really mean? I remember back in the day there were only a few things that had them such as milk, eggs, bread and medicine. But several years ago, I started to notice more and more products containing the “exp” stamp. Cereal, soda, and toothpaste contain it. Some hair products have it. Vaseline has it for goodness sakes. Even one of our child car seats had one.
So things that didn’t contain it before didn’t need it? I’m just trying to wrap my brain around it. So that cooking oil or that shampoo that didn’t tout an expiration date ten years ago now tells the consumer that they can’t shelve it indefinitely, but must use it within a certain time frame or else. What’s the or else? What will happen? Shouldn’t that be made known on the package label? Shouldn’t the manufacturer have to tell you what will happen to you if you use the product after that date?
Will you get sick if you eat something passed the expiration date? Well, I guess not considering I accidentally used mayonnaise that was ten days beyond that infamous stamp. I keep condiments in the fridge at work just in case I bring something for lunch that requires their use. The other day I made a sandwich during my lunch break and pulled out the squeeze bottle of mayo, not realizing that I could be on the verge of death from salmonella.
Halfway through my ham and cheese, I read the date on the bottle. I stopped in mid chew and tried to recollect the day’s date, knowing that I could not have possibly just eaten my death sentence. But it was true. Ten days passed the date. But it couldn’t be? It didn’t taste foul. It didn’t taste sour. It didn’t smell or look bad. And to top it off, I had just used the same mayonnaise two days prior on another sandwich without noticing the blunder. And I hadn’t gotten sick…yet.
Well, I’m still alive and nothing happened. So now I’m still stumped about the whole date thing. I have always been a stickler when it comes to abiding by the date. I toss anything beyond it. I know some people don’t because they say the date is just a guideline of freshness…not a deadline. To each his own I guess. Even though I walked on the line of death with the mayo bungle, I am still sticking to my guns and tossing any and everything that crosses over that day. I am not taking any chances.
Here is a link http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/do-food-expiration-dates-matter that will probably give some insight on food expiration and help you make your own decisions. Good luck!