Don’t eat these foods past their expiry dates

Vinnie Wong

Have you ever bought food nearing their expiry date only to forget to cook or eat them in time? It is a very Asian thing to think, “ oh what a waste” and try to salvage it by checking if it is still edible. If the date isn’t too far off past the expiry date and the food still looks intact without looking weird, chances are we would still eat it. But below are nineteen food items that you really should avoid eating if they are past their expiry dates.

Foods you should avoid even if they are slightly past the expiry date

1. Ground Beef

All meat is susceptible to bacteria when they are not prepared with care. But to minimize risk, you need to closely monitor its expiry date. Expired ground beef is perfect breeding ground for staphylococcus aureus or even salmonella.

2. Ground Pork

You should never cook expired ground pork because who knows what could be breeding in there. Because of its ground-up state, there is more surface area for bacteria to spread. So if you buy them fresh, cook it straight away on the same day or freeze immediately to keep.

3. Packed Salad

Prepackaged salads are super convenient provided you adhere to expiry dates. And because the vegetables thrown in together would have been washed prior, they will not last very long. Contamination can still happen between preparation and remember there’s no cooking involved to kill off any newly formed bacteria.

4. Seafood

Seafood especially prawns have very fragile flesh and can easily be contaminated if not packaged properly. A good tip we received from local fishermen is to freeze fresh prawns together with some water into an ice block. This apparently keeps them fresher for longer. But if you’re buying fresh, please heed the expiry date and always wash them thoroughly before cooking.

5. Raspberries

When properly stored, raspberries can last in the fridge for about 3 days after buying them. When they go bad the berries will turn to mush, so when you take out some to eat, wash thoroughly and check for mould. You are also discouraged from washing them until you are ready to eat them if you want to extend their shelve life.

6. Strawberries

Strawberries generally do not last very long even if you fridge them. They are good for about 3 days before ending up in mush and a perfect place for bacteria and mould. Like the raspberries, remember to remove the bad ones and wash the rest thoroughly. And since they are all wet now, might as well eat all of them right away.

7. Soft Cheeses

Generally, when it comes to hard cheeses, you can cut off parts where the mould has grown and still eat the rest. However, when it comes to soft cheeses, you really should go by their expiry date because they are more susceptible to listeria.

8. Milk

Pasteurisation might kill all of the bacteria found in milk but even this cannot guarantee it won’t be contaminated during packing and distribution. Proper storage at the store is also important too. So even if it is way before the expiry date, always make it a habit to smell your milk and pour a little out to check for texture before adding it to your tea of coffee.

9. Whipped Cream

Freshly whipped cream should be chilled until it is ready to use because it is only a  matter of time for it to go bad in this humid weather of ours. Aside from bad food poisoning, it will also deflate and turn back to liquid.

10. Chicken

Chicken is one meat that should be well cooked thoroughly and stored properly to avoid causing any health issues. So when buying roasted chicken in the deli section be sure to check the expiry date to avoid contamination by a dangerous bacteria called E. coli, that can lead to other diseases like gastroenteritis, meningitis, and urinary infections.

11. Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads can cause food poisoning if they have not been stored, prepared or cooked properly. A bad fiddlehead should be discarded straight away since it naturally produces toxins. Eat within two days or keep them soaked in a water.

12. Spinach

Most vegetables wilt and rot really fast when they are wet especially spinach. So dry them really well or wrap them up with paper and they should last a little longer in the fridge.

13. Cured meat

It is true cured meat can last slightly longer than regular raw meat, but even they don’t last forever. At most, they only last a couple of weeks at the most when refrigerated. So eat it before their expiry date so that you don’t get listeriosis! Or it could be life-threatening for children or the elderly if it leads to meningitis.

14. Shelled clam

A shelled clam lasts up to three days in the fridge, but it is best to eat it as soon as possible preferably in 24 hours. You will be able to tell that they are bad just by smelling bad. If they smell foul discard and do not eat them.

15. Alfalfa

This health food has thin white shoots have a flavour that’s described as neutral or slightly sweet. The shoots should appear crisp and the leaves should be perky and fresh. Rotten alfalfa would show signs of rotting that include browning or yellowing in the leaves or shoots and it will also emit an unpleasant smell.

16. Bean sprouts

Bean sprouts tend to go bad very quickly, especially when they are usually soaked in water or still wet when they are packed. Avoid eating it if they smell a little sour.

17. Oysters

Never risk getting food poisoning from oysters because it could lead to blood poisoning. If you are really craving oysters, we suggest you get them from reputable places who get them fresh and know how to prepare them properly.

18. Scallops

If you’re buying scallops fresh. you really need to eat them within 24 hours or freeze them right away. If you don’t, you might run the risk of food poisoning. Symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea would start showing anywhere from between 4 to 44 hours after eating.

19. Eggs

A good hack to see if your eggs are still safe to eat even if they are past their expiry date is to dunk them in water. If an egg is still edible it would still sink to the bottom. If it floats, this means you need to throw the egg away.


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