Out of date food: is it safe to buy?


Millions of kilos of out of date food are thrown away every year in Australia. Food labeling has become the norm and many consumers are unwilling to trust their own senses to tell them whether something is safe to eat or not. What most consumers don’t know is that many food items are perfectly safe to eat long after their expiration date.

How to find out if your out of date food is safe to eat

The key to understanding which out of date foods are safe to eat and which are not is reading the details. There are two types of date warnings on food: ‘use by’ or ‘best before’. If food is marked with a ‘use by’ date then this means that it is perishable and will spoil, possibly becoming dangerous to consume after this date. Food that has passed its ‘use by’ date is not safe and should always be discarded even if it looks and smells normal.

Canned goods and less perishable goods will be marked with a ‘best before’ date. This indicates that the products are past their best but are perfectly safe to consume. There may be a slight change in taste or texture of the products and their nutritional content may be affected, but the ‘best before’ label is really an indication of quality and does not indicate that the food will be unsafe to eat after this time.

Check the best before date on your out of date food

All foods with a shelf life of less than two years must have a best before date on the label. Manufacturers tend to err on the side of caution when setting these dates. They want to make sure that consumers are not at risk and are tasting the product at its best.

When food retailers have products that have gone out of date they are often willing to sell them very cheaply. If selling items past their ‘best before’ date to the public, it is important that you make this very clear to the purchaser.

Contact us to sell your out of date food

Many bargain hunting shoppers will be happy to purchase out of date food at a discount price. If you have out of date food for sale and you would like some more information on how much you could sell it for contact Coorey & Co. We’ve got a great track record of finding buyers for out of date food stock and we’d be happy to help.

Author: John Coorey
Managing Director

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m 0411 430 047 e john@coorey.com