Kitchen tips

8 Popular foods you shouldn’t eat after the expiration date

Written by Martin M. Haupt

8 foods you shouldn’t eat after the expiration date

There are some foods that can be eaten after the best before date on the package. There are others that should be thrown away. Here is a short guide.

On a daily basis, it is important that each of us can do something, even if it is very small, to reduce food waste. This includes not systematically throwing away food that has reached or exceeded its minimum durability date (MDD) and its use-by date (BBD). Some foods remain perfectly edible as long as neither their appearance, nor their taste, nor their texture has been altered by time. On the other hand, other foods must be thrown away once the expiration date is reached. If you eat them, you may well get sick. Find out which ones we are talking about.

Red meat

this food you shouldn’t eat after the expiration date general when red meat is no longer good, it lets you know. It gradually turns a brownish color that is not very appealing and becomes slimy on the surface. Then the smell changes and becomes nauseating. This is true for a piece of rump steak as well as for ground meat. The latter requires twice as much attention. If you bought it at the supermarket, you have more leeway since it can be refrigerated and even frozen to keep it longer. On the other hand, if you got it in a butcher shop, you have a maximum of 12 hours to consume your red meat before it is lost. If, despite its dubious appearance and smell, you still want to take the risk, be aware that you risk food poisoning, or even a bacterial infection such as salmonella or listeria because not all bacteria will die during cooking. So when in doubt, throw it out.

*Note that this also applies to poultry, which should be discarded as soon as it becomes discolored and starts to smell bad.

Fish and seafood

Fish is an extremely fragile food. This means that it is also sensitive to external aggressions, especially when it is very fresh. If you went to the fishmonger this morning, you only have 24 hours to cook and eat your seafood. In a pinch, you can save some for the next day, but no more. Just like red meat, it quickly becomes a playground for bacteria responsible for digestive problems such as E. coli. If you see that your fish is turning a strange color and its eye is starting to change color as well: trash it. Do the same for seafood that has been in your refrigerator for more than two days. At the slightest change in color or smell, it is recommended to throw it away to avoid endangering your health.

Deli meats

The weather is still nice, which means that there are still days to enjoy the aperitif season. And when you think of aperitifs, you think of ham, sausage and other cold cuts to be spread out on trays between three pieces of cheese and bread. The problem is that while dry, smoked, or vacuum-packed deli meats can be kept for weeks, raw or processed deli meats (pâté, rillettes, raw ham) only last for 2 to 3 days. Those bought by the slice in the supermarket or at the butcher should be eaten the same day. Also, take them out for special occasions or when you are very hungry if you want to avoid wasting them, because, after this time in your fridge, you will have to part with them.

Fresh fruit juices

We’re not talking about the juice boxes you find in the supermarket, but those stored in the fridge. They have not been pasteurized before being bottled and must be consumed within days of purchase to avoid unpleasant surprises. Stick strictly to the best-before date on the package or the cap and do not try to tempt the devil. For freshly squeezed apple, lemon, or orange juice, the limit is around 5 days before the juice turns sour and becomes unfit for consumption.


Like all the foods listed above, eggs are fragile. Although they are protected by a membrane that is invisible to the naked eye, their shell is still porous and therefore subject to bacterial attack. In general, we have 28 days from the date of laying to consume a raw egg. To prevent them from spoiling too quickly, choose the ones that have been laid the most recently by referring to the date on the box or the shell. This will give you some time to decide what to do with them and not end up making pancakes or cakes in a hurry to avoid throwing them away. On the other hand, as soon as the egg is opened or cooked, the conservation period is radically reduced. Count 6 to 7 days for a hard-boiled egg, about the same for a white one, and only a few hours for a yolk, before bacteria proliferate. And if you’re ever in doubt, there are simple tips to check if an egg is expired or not.


In fact, you can keep a carton or bottle of pasteurized or sterilized milk in your refrigerator or under your kitchen sink for up to 6 months. That is, often up to, or even slightly beyond, the Best Before Date on the package. On the non-negotiable condition that it is closed. Once your milk is opened, you have a maximum of one week to drink it before it goes bad. Remember to put it in the fridge once opened, because at room temperature the period is reduced to only 24 hours. Once these periods have passed, throw away the bottle or the box as a precaution. In any case, given the lumpy appearance and smell of expired milk, it is unlikely to make you want to drink it.

Fresh cream

Like milk, store-bought fresh cream can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks as long as it is sealed. As soon as it is opened, your cream is no longer sterile and is therefore vulnerable to bacterial attack. You have 2 to 3 days maximum to incorporate it in preparation and to consume it. If you wish to keep it longer, you should know that fresh cream cannot be frozen. However, nothing prevents you from freezing a pasta carbonara dish or a potato gratin. Mixed into a cooked dish, it keeps much better than on its own.

Raw milk cheeses

Reblochon, Roquefort, Brie, Morbier and Mont d’Or are all part of the raw milk cheese family. These cheeses are much more fragile than pasteurized cheeses which can be consumed a few days to a week after their expiration date. The cheeses with raw milk and the fresh cheeses on the contrary can be kept between 2 days and 2 weeks. The absence of pasteurization increases the chances of bacterial contamination and therefore of intestinal infections in humans. Do not improvise yourself as a cheese refiner at home unless you have purchased hard cheese. This cheese can spend months at home without any problem. However, beware of changes in color, texture, smell, and the appearance of mold. At the slightest sign of deterioration,

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