Friday, February 17, 2017

Expiration Dates Yes Or No?

Most home chefs are controlled by them while there is a small band of rebels that blatantly ignore them. What are they? Expiration dates. They control what we eat and how we eat. Now they're coming into question. Are they legit?

Everyone , from local news to even John Oliver are bringing them into the forefront. are they correct? Should we throw out that milk a day after the sell by date? Or chuck those canned veggies a week after or are they still good enough to cook? Some foods are and aren't. It's an iffy situation but there is a rule of thumb you can stick to.  Milk can be kept up to one week past the expiration date. while eggs can last as long as three to five It's hard to tell if they're rotten because it's only after the shell is cracked there's an odor.Poultry and seafood are a bit chancier. They should be cooked or frozen with a day or two of buying. Beef is a little sturdier. There's a window of three to five days before it goes bad. Canned goods are a whole other ball game. Highly acidic vegetables like canned tomatoes can last up to eighteen months . Low acid ones such as green beans can last five years. There is a catch , however, and most, if not all home chefs know what it is. Canned goods have to be kept in a cool,dry place, such as a pantry. ambient temperature should be between fifty and seventy degrees Farenheit. To make sure the temperature is constantly accurate, install a thermometer inside your pantry .

What about frozen foods such as ice cream and microwave meals? Unopened cartons of chocolate and vanilla can last up to two to three months past the printed date. Untouched sherbet can last a month longer at three months. Opened, it can last one to two months while sherbet, again, can last a month longer. How can you tell when its' bad. It's not the odor - there is none but the appearance. Tiny ice shards form on the ice cream's surface and under the lid. These can be removed so the ice cream can still be enjoyed but one ice shard begets several. Together , they can turn that solid brick of butter pecan into a gooey, oozy mess. Do Popsicles last as long?  Much much longer. The average Bomb pop or Rocket Pop can last up to six to eight months. Frozen TV dinners vary . Anything with chicken can only  stand six months before it goes bad while beef, seafood and pork can last up to a year and a half.  Tacos, enchiladas, and burritos have a year expiration date. That doesn't mean to load your freezer with them. Just remember you have them before you go shopping for a new dinners. Freezers tend to be like closets, with the older stuff being shoved to the back. Clean it out every three to four months.

Do you follow expiration dates. The best advice is to be aware of them. Food can last longer than the sell by date. Let your nose and taste buds be the judge.

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