As a former victim of Salmonella poisoning I learned first-hand just how awful it feels to have the poison consume your body…and sadly my then one-year-old daughter had it as well.
Food poisoning is scary. Every day millions of people purchase food on the blind trust that the people who have processed it have done so with our families health in mind. Since having Salmonella poisoning I have been leery of eating meat even close to the expiration date.
So how do we, as consumers, know when things are okay to eat? There are usually dates on products, but what if a company doesn’t use a standard date, and uses those infamous codes that we aren’t ‘in the know’ about?
Well, the internet is a great resource to get your knowledge on and I’m a firm believer in using it to it’s fullest extent.
Last night, my daughter requested pancakes and sausage for dinner. Okay, not the most healthy meal, but she’s allowed to have something with a little extra oomph than the norm on occasion.
A few hours later she said her stomach was bothering her so that ‘mommy radar’ went off, slight paranoia crept in, and I went to make sure that everything was okay in regard to expiration dates.
First and foremost, expired pancake mix can be deadly. Didn’t know that? Well then I’m glad you’re reading this article! Any type of powdered pre-mixed batter can grow mold and give those consuming it an anaphylaxis reaction to the molds themselves. I already knew, before I went to check on the expiration date, that it was fine… however, I had to do that second-check just in case.
Next on the list were the eggs. I noticed that the expiration date on the package was January 5th; I made them January 8th. I didn’t panic over that. Although it did raise an interesting question, “How long are eggs good for after the expiration date anyway?”
Off to the internet I went in search of an answer. The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the USDA.gov website has a great read with even better information to refer to: http://www.fsis.usda.gov
Turns out that eggs are good for 3-4 weeks after their expiration date and that my daughter had a need for some extra attention from Mommy. Good to know. Sad to know now that I realize how many cartons of eggs I have tossed into the trash prematurely. We live, we learn…but at least we can do so with a lesser threat of food poisoning.