Health News: Use-by dates

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

How are you at adhering to use-by dates? I've got to admit that I can sometimes be found eating something that's a couple of days out of date because I hate wasting food. I may have to rethink my attitudes after reading this article.

According to;

"New figures collected by the Food Standards Agency show the number of cases of listeriosis has doubled since 2001 and risen by 20 per cent in the last year alone. The majority of cases are now in the over-sixties and almost all cases are thought to be food-borne.

'Listeriosis is fairly rare, but when it does occur the death rate is quite high,' said a spokeswoman for the FSA. 'It does not appear to be a problem in the manufacture of products, so it looks as if it comes from what people may be doing at home.'"

They go on to mention that the problem seems to lie with how the food is treated after it has been taken home. Refrigerators are not always kept at the correct temperature and food is often kept longer than it should be. The main food culprits seem to be chilled, ready-to-eat items such as "pre-packed sandwiches, salads, cooked sliced meats, smoked salmon, soft cheeses and pâtés."

To be on the safe side, the FSA are advising that food should be stored below 5°C and to follow the instructions for storage on the chilled food package. Once food is opened, it should be eaten within two days.


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