Day 25 of the A – Z Blog Challenge
By yellow stickers i am referring to the reduced sections of the supermarkets, the food that is reduced for quick sale because it cannot be sold after its best before date.
Now, i’m not saying you have to buy food that is gone off. I mean, who would do that? But, quite often, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that food and it is perfectly edible.
The Food safety website states the following
‘The best before date, sometimes shown as BBE, is about quality and not safety. The food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best. Its flavour and texture might not be as good. Best before dates appear on a wide range of foods including
- frozen foods
- dried foods
- tinned foods
The best before date will only be accurate if the food is stored according to the instructions on the packaging.’
As for the Use by date, they say this:
‘A use-by date on food is about safety. This is the most important date to remember. Foods can be eaten until the use-by date but not after. You will see use-by dates on food that goes off quickly, such as meat products or ready-to-eat salads.
For the use-by date to be a valid guide, you must carefully follow storage instructions. For example, if the instructions on the packaging tell you to refrigerate after opening, you should keep the food in a fridge at 5°C or below. Find out more about chilling your food correctly.
After the use-by date, don’t eat it, cook it or freeze it. The food could be unsafe to eat or drink, even if it has been stored correctly and looks and smells fine. A lot of foods, including meat and milk can be frozen before the use-by date though so plan ahead.’
Therefore, you can buy and store dried foodstuffs after the date on the label, but with fresh food, you do have to be more careful. I do still purchase these, but they are put straight into the freezer for a later date. I then either cook from frozen or defrost properly within the fridge to ensure they are still safe to eat. The instructions on the packet should indicate which is the best way for each food.
Remember, being in the freezer merely halts the going off process, once the food has been thawed, it starts again. The freezer does not kill bacteria, it just puts it into hibernation for a while.
However, it is possible that if you find out what time your shop reduces their goods, and where they stack them, you can save a lot of money on the things you buy regularly that have absolutely nothing wrong with them.
Next time you’re in the supermarket, check out what they have reduced. Think about the storage instructions and make sure you stick to them, but remember that the freezer is absolutely brilliant for helping you to save money and reduce wastage.
Have a happy day.