Sunday, January 08, 2012

Lessons on Expired Foodstuff

I learned a strange lesson last Friday.

I'm not a frequent user of chilli sauce, except when I eat something that actually requires the use of chilli sauce like a certain local chip-like junkfood, and that was when I thought that the sauce tasted strangely bitter as opposed to being hot (It was an 'extra hot' variety, by the way) Only after consuming a considerable quantity for chilli sauce standards, and wondering about the bitter taste, I realised that the bottle should have been tossed into the bin over two months ago! Thankfully there were no disastrous consequences.

On the other hand, over a few months back, I was feeling a bit extra peckish one night and thought I'd cook some instant noodles. I noticed with a slight dismay that they had expired about a week or so before that but the peckishness got the better of me and I figured that I'd just eat it anyway. After all, how much harm could one week do to food? 

Turns out, one week did cause quite a bit of damage to the food. The noodles, once cooked, smelled strangely of burned plastic, and had the consistency of (very) pliable plastic. I did not use any plastic utensils, so the possible contributor was definitely the product itself. A few bites later, I had to throw it away. I don't take instant noodles on a regular basis these days either (after somewhat being my staple supper back in my undergraduate days) but I've eaten this particular batch of noodles before when they were still edible and it tasted like noodles and not plastic. Kind of makes you wonder what exactly these noodles are made of...

16 comments:

  1. Glad you're okay ! I ate expired Maggi once and It tasted so wrong. But I was really hungry and I didnt care then. Thankfully nothing happened to me too.

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  2. My packet of 'instant noodles' was of the same brand... I suppose we're tougher than expiry dates expect us to be ;)

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  3. Yeah God only knows what they put into what we eat. Expiry dates are more of a guideline anyway, most of the time the food is fine(as fine can be nowadays), even if it tastes like plastic.

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  4. I've had a few experiences with expired food that gave me a painful tummy ache not to mention very frequent visits to the loo that I make sure all the food I consume are still valid.

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  5. I have a very flexible attitude towards expiry dates on food packaging unless it's fresh meat. If meat has exceeded its date I usually decide based on smell and appearance.

    What does not kill you makes you stronger - and I ain't dead yet so I must be stronger.

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  6. Ugh, I'm glad you saw that something was wrong before you ate them all and they made you sick, at least.

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  7. Funny. A few minutes ago, I checked the expiration date on some of the food in my fridge and wondered to myself how long after that date I really had.

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  8. What's scary is that they know exactly when this stuff is no longer edible.

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  9. Very relevant post to me, travelling in Egypt the advice is "don't drink the water, don't eat salads, unwashed fruit, wash your hands..... hope I get thru the trip without a tummy upset! :)

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  10. I always always check food before I eat it, and I won't eat something even a few days out of date. I did have a mishap lately though where I didn't check, and ate one bite of out of date pasta. The taste made me realise my mistake.

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  11. Pat: I heard something similar... like how the food doesn't get spoiled, but only loses some nutritional value after it's expired. But still, for something to taste like plastic, something must be really wrong with it.

    Nick: Oh, poor you. I haven't got that problem, but then again, you never know when the expired stuff may attack your tummy.

    King of Scurf: Ha ha... I like you attitude towards expired stuff. However, I think I wouldn't dare experiment with meat (mainly because I also have problem identifying spoiled food until it smells bad)

    Gia: Yeah... had to end up eating a slice of bread instead

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  12. Missed Periods: Strange coincidence... I wouldn't have any idea, but it seems so terrible to have to throw food away when so many people are starving out there.

    DWei: I'm sure they've done extensive studying on the shelf life of their products. I work in the chemical industry (although not food), and we do have tests to determine the shelf life of our products and work towards having one that is reasonable to both us and the customer.

    Jenny Woolf: Oh wow. So many 'don'ts'. Hope you have a tummy upset free trip too.

    Mark: I should do it more often as well. Thing is, sometimes you take things for granted especially since it's your own house.

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  13. My mother in law once chastised me for throwing out some bacon that had started to go bad. The meat part of the rasher seemed ok but the fat had a greenish tinge to it - she said I only needed to cut off the fat and the rest would be edible.

    I guess they made people with cast iron stomachs in her day. I threw it all in the bin.

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    1. I suppose they did. I wouldn't have eaten it either.

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  14. Ew! I will take note, I often find things over a YEAR out of date in my fridge/cupboard.

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    1. I think there's a bottle of mustard sauce and another bottle of Italian dressing in a similar situation in the fridge in my house :D

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