We have all seen it before; expired food on the shelves of your local grocery store, in the freezer or refrigerator of the neighborhood food market. Some of us come across in at our homes, deep in the back of the pantry, bottom or door of the refrigerator. Items such as milk, that will need to be discarded as well as old dairy, meat products that we never opened or never finished eating before the expire date was reached. Just because it’s still in the house does not mean we have to eat it. Throwing it away is an option. Some people have something against throwing out food even once it becomes too old to eat. Some people buy more than they can eat or change preference in meal choices, before they get to all of the food that the stockpile. As a result, they reach their expiration date.
Shelf life is the length of time that foods, beverages, pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, and many other perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for sale, use, or consumption. In some regions, a best before, use by or freshness date is required on packaged perishable foods.
Shelf life is the recommendation of time that products can be stored, during which the defined quality of a specified proportion of the goods remains acceptable under expected (or specified) conditions of distribution, storage and display.
Most shelf life dates are used as guidelines based on normal and expected handling and exposure to temperature. Use prior to the expiration date does not necessarily guarantee the safety of a food or drug, while a product is not always dangerous nor ineffective after the expiration date. (Wikipedia)
Sale By date is not to be confused with the expiration date. Most products that have a sale by date, will also give you an expiration date. For food, shelf life is different from expiration date: the former refers to food quality, the latter to food safety. A product that has passed its shelf life might still be safe, but quality is no longer guaranteed
Now that we know safety is a concern when eating foods that are expired, we should be mindful when feeding them to our children and toddlers. It should be important to you as a parent, regardless if you are the weekend dad, custodial parent, single mother or wife/husband team; that you are paying close attention to the items you purchase at store and bring home. It is very easy for a store agent to overlook an item that was left on the shelf. It is also possible that you can at any point to go the pantry and pull out something for child that you didn’t notice was expired. This is just something really simple that you can make sure you are attentive about when selecting food, whether home or in the store that you pass on to your child.
Now that Spring Break is here, you may want to add cleaning your pantry out-to the things to do list. Make sure you dig way back in the back and throw out all that food that has been in there since you were married 6 year ago or since the last kid graduated college. You would not believe that some people actually still have food this old in their pantry. However, you have the time-especially if you are not on vacation out of the city-to get the kids together and make it something fun. They may even find a science project in there