Canned fish, vegetables, meat, and fruits are important parts of many people’s daily diet.
But sometimes people cannot finish them before their best-before dates. Is it still safe to eat them after the date?
According to Michael Gänzle, a University of Alberta food scientist, it is very likely to be safe to the canned food.
This is because cans are sealed tightly against air and light and have a shelf life that lasts for years.
For canned food, the best-before date is more like a guideline for quality than an expiry deadline.
But the researcher also suggests that people can check to see if the food is still appealing.
For example, you can check how the food looks and smells when the can is opened. If there is discoloration or an off-kilter odor, you’d better not eat it.
But if it looks and smells okay, it probably is okay.
Although canned food past its best-before date may not cause harms, food in other types of packaging might lead to food poisoning if you eat them after the best-date.
To avoid food poisoning, researchers suggest people pay attention to five things:
When cooking meat, especially ground meat, you should use a food thermometer to ensure it’s not undercooked.
Don’t let thawing meat sit at room temperature, which allows bacteria to grow. Cooked leftovers shouldn’t sit out for more than two hours.
Follow the cooking instructions outlined on the box. Some foods that appear precooked, like chicken nuggets, can still be raw inside.
Refrigerate perishable packaged foods like bottled salad dressing after opening, with the fridge set at 4 C or lower.
Wash your hands, utensils and work surfaces before and after handling food, especially after using the toilet.
The five above tips may help you prevent foodborne illness.
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