Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is my food still safe after the 'best before' date?


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Barry Artiste Op.Ed

Well this has certainly solved the question many of us wanted to know about the unidentifiable wrapped parcel of food in the back of the fridge for months, called "Mystery Cake" (Meatloaf)!

Is my food still safe after the 'best before' date? Last Updated: Friday, March 27, 2009 | 3:54 PM ET CBC News Got something nasty brewing at the back of your refrigerator? Maybe a half-empty yogurt container that you haven't opened since — well, you're not exactly sure when. But with the recession biting your budget, you're hesitant to put any more pressure on your bottom line by throwing out something that might have some value.

Still, you know better than to open it and eat it. It is — after all — well past the "best before date." And once that date is history, your product cannot be consumed safely, right?

Well, not exactly.

"Best before" is one of three types of date codes referred to officially in the Food and Drugs Act as "durable-life dates." These dates are defined by the act as "the amount of time, starting on the day a food is packaged, that the unopened food will retain its normal wholesomeness, palatability and nutritional value when stored under appropriate conditions."

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