Have those slices of ham been lying around in your fridge for quite some time? You don’t like to waste and you wonder if you can eat them after the expiry date has passed. We asked a nutritionist to help us draw up a list of expired foods that should not be consumed.
Have those slices of ham been lying around in your fridge for quite some time? You don’t like to waste and you wonder if you can eat them after the expiry date has passed. We asked a nutritionist to help us draw up a list of expired foods that should not be consumed. “We are not one day away”, we often hear about a food whose expiry date has passed. In fact, it all depends on what is meant by “expired” and what this date indicated on the packaging corresponds to.
Minimum durability and consumption limit
The mention “to consume preferably before…” corresponds to what is called the date of minimum durability (DDM). This is the date until which a food is supposed to retain its nutritional, physical and taste qualities. If the packaging has not been altered, “foodstuffs whose MDD is exceeded can be consumed without risk by the consumer”, specifies the DGCCRF (General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Prevention) on its website. In short, it will not necessarily be as good, but there is no risk of poisoning yourself.
Where you have to be careful, it is with the foods on which appears the mention “to consume until…”. We then no longer speak of DDM but of expiry date or DLC. “The DLC indicates a hard limit, explains the DGCCRF. It applies to foodstuffs that are microbiologically very perishable and which, as a result, are likely, after a short period, to present an immediate danger to human health. »
Some products therefore remain completely consumable even if the date on the packaging has passed by a few days: this is the case for biscuits, chocolate, honey, pasta, rice, spices, frozen products or tin cans.
Doctor Corinne Chicheportiche-Ayache, a nutritionist, recommends however to be vigilant with damaged preserves, that it is better “do not consume if the box is bulging” whether the date has passed or not, “because there is a risk of product being infected with germs and therefore of botulism”, she explains. Foodborne botulism is due to the presence of a toxin, which can lead to serious disorders, including paralysis and death.
Most dry foods are safe to eat shortly after their best before date, but some fresh foods too, such as yogurts that you can keep around “up to 7 additional days”, says the nutritionist.
On the other hand, for other categories of food, it is essential and even vital to scrupulously respect the expiry date.
Even if all you have left is that slice of raw ham that’s been dated for a few days, don’t eat it. Whether its smell is strong or tolerable, it is better to get rid of it. By consuming it, you expose yourself to a risk of bacterial contamination.
Salmonella, the most common bacterium in deli meats, is dangerous and can be fatal, especially in the elderly. Pregnant women are also at increased risk of miscarriage. Charcuterie purchased by the slice must be consumed the same day
2. Red meat
Expired red meat is also to be banned from your refrigerator. “In particular minced meat, says Corinne Ayache, because the surface of the meat with the air is increased, which thus increases the risk of development of bacteria such as salmonella, listeria or staphylococci…”
These bacteria cause significant digestive upset and potentially serious symptoms. As for minced meat on demand at the butcher, it must be consumed within 12 hours. In general, spoiled meat is easily detected: its smell is unpleasant and its color becomes brownish. As soon as a doubt remains, however slight, do not take any risks.
3. Fresh fish
As with charcuterie or red meat, it is best to consume fresh fish the same day or the day after purchase. Avoid forgetting it too long in your refrigerator to avoid contamination.
“More broadly, we must be vigilant about the conservation of everything that is bought by the cut”, recommends the nutritionist. Fresh fish should, as its name suggests, be eaten fresh. If its skin is dull and its eye is no longer keen, do not eat it.
Must be “very attentive to eggs”, advises Dr Corinne Chicheportiche-Ayache. These can in principle be eaten up to 28 days after laying, “but eggs sometimes stay on the shelves in supermarkets for 21 days”, she points out.
For boiled eggs, the nutritionist even advises not to exceed “three weeks after the laying date”. The membrane of the egg, more or less porous, decreases “and the risk is that the germs pass”. Therefore, when doing your shopping, favor eggs with the closest laying dates. The same goes for all other foods in general, try to pay attention to the expiry dates.
Finally, if the shell is split, the egg must be thrown away, insists the nutritionist. If the shell is dirty, it is better to avoid washing it under water as this “reduces the impermeability of the shell and increases the risk of contamination”, she explains.
5. Cooked meals
Dishes prepared with expired dates are also to be eliminated from your cupboards. “ In particular all those with sauces and creams, i.e. almost the majority of ready meals, which must be consumed immediately, recommends the nutritionist. The others can be eaten a maximum of two days after the deadline indicated on the packaging. »
As with wine, it is often (wrongly) thought that a cheese is better when it ages. It is left to ripen at the bottom of the tank in the hope of an appearance of sensational flavors. Nay.
“It all depends on the method of preparation, explains Corinne Chicheportiche-Ayache. For example, a raw milk cheese, that is to say unpasteurized, is to be totally avoided if it is expired. » The others, on the other hand, can still be consumed for a few days after the fateful date, “but not more than a week”, she recommends.
Finally, whether for cheese or for any other food, when traces of mold appear, it is better to refrain from eating it.