Is It Still Good?

Okay, bachelors: Here’s a Pop Quiz! You novice cooks can join in, as well.

Have you ever ignored those expiration dates on packages?

If you answered no, we will likely doubt your veracity. (That means we won’t believe you.)

But if you answered yes, congratulations! You are a typical bachelor!

Do you think a carton of milk that has been open for a week but still has another week to go on its expiration date is still good?

Raise your hand if you answered no. Okay, we’re still going to have to doubt your answer.

But if you answered yes, you’re not just a typical bachelor, you are a typical consumer. Those “best by” and “Sell by” dates are not just suggestions. In most cases, they are there by law. But they don’t tell you how long you have before the food starts to go bad. What they show is the “shelf life” of an UNOPENED container.

Can goods are good forever? Right?

Wrong. While canned food can last a long time, it can still develop bacterial contamination or other problems as the years roll by.

Frozen food can last forever. Yes?

No. Freezing can significantly slow or stop bacteria from growing, but it starts right up again when the thaw comes. Also, how foods are frozen and what the package may contain can also make a difference in how long the food will last in the freezer.

So, once again, reading the label can actually save your life.