15/09/2011

End of the Sell-By Date

end of the sell by dateToday sees the end of the sell-by date. I must admit, as a bloke, that won't mean much of a difference in my life. We never really look at the sell-by date. If we're hungry we'll eat it. And sometimes it's good that a food is past its date, because that means the women in the house won't eat it for fear of getting ill. It sits in the fridge without the risk of someone else having it. Yum.


A supermarket survey last year found over half of shoppers throw away food past its 'sell-by' date even though it is still safe to eat.

See that? Half. And roughly what fraction of people are women? Hmm?

The sell-by date has never worried me because I'm not thinking about selling the food, I'm just going to eat it. If you put and 'eat-by' date on it I'd pay attention. Although I'm sure I'd have it eaten before then.

New guidelines will mean all food and drink must be labelled with one date only, either a 'best before' or a 'use by'.

The 'best before' date doesn't really bother me either. Who says I'm aiming for 'best' in this life? I'm perfectly happy with adequate, and they don't put 'adequate before' dates on our food.

The 'use-by' dates make more sense but to be honest, if it looks like you can eat it you can probably eat it. And even if there's some mould growing on it, it's probably the same mould you get on Stilton. Just add the words "Danish Blue" before the product name and you have an expensive food rather than something for the bin.

  Person 1: "Is that steak off?"
  Person 2: "No, it's a Danish Blue Steak."
  Person 1: "Oooh, fancy."

'Use by' labels will go only on food which is unsafe to eat after a certain date, such as meat, fish and cheese.

Cheese? Have you seen some of the cheeses out there? They're mouldy old lumps that look like they have gone off years before they have hit the shelves. If you look at mature Gouda can you seriously tell me it's going to get any with with age? It's like a cheesy lump of Mum-ra.

Most foods, such as tinned and dry goods, jams, pickles and snacks, will carry a 'best before' date to indicate when they will no longer be at their best but are still safe to eat.

It's not just foods. I saw a pack of condoms with "best before date" written on it. And I thought, "That's a shame, as I was hoping to use these after I'd taken her on a date."

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