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Past "best-before " but not time for the bin

(37 Posts)
Elegran Sat 26-Jan-19 10:11:41

The Food Sharing Hub, on Bread Street, Edinburgh, opened its doors on Friday, with shelves stacked with fruit, vegetables and bakery products which supermarkets would previously have binned as they were past their best before date.

“The supermarkets donate food which is still safe to eat, that doesn’t meet their brand standards – as opposed to legal standards.

“It would be legal for them to sell it and it is legal for us to.

“It’s things like bakeries wanting to get rid of bread at the end of the day.

“Part of what we’re doing is trying to eliminate that, making people think ‘does it look like it’s gone off and smell like it’s gone off, or is it a day the shops are trying to get it off the shelves?’.”

Lily65 Wed 20-Mar-19 17:08:11

Fare share is brilliant.

PamelaJ1 Wed 20-Mar-19 16:51:30

My husband has just made me throw away a Swiss roll with 2015 on it as a result of this thread.
I’m sure I would have made another trifle one day!

Vonners Wed 20-Mar-19 14:29:49

I'm a great one for using my common sense as to whether to eat something or not. I definitely don't don't worry about any best before/use by/sell by dates.
I agree there is way too much food wasted. I believe this is partly to do with the fact people expect shops to have everything at all hours whereas years ago if you went in a shop an hour before losing and they were out of a particular item you just bought a substitute, went without or popped back the next day.
As a youngster I remember going with my nan to visit her sister, my great aunt. She made us a sandwich from an uncut loaf, the first slice was covered in mould so this was cut off. I wasn't sick, nor did it put me off eating bread or food at her house. There was no fridge, meat was kept in a meat safe, she also had no running water.

mumofmadboys Wed 20-Mar-19 13:36:25

Yes Grammaretto the dried yeast was in a sealed foil sachet

Blondiescot Wed 20-Mar-19 11:43:07

We've just had a community fridge open up in our village - supermarkets and shops can donate items to it and people can help themselves for free. Members of the public can also donate items (they have to be pre-packed, not stuff you've made yourself) which are perhaps coming up to their dates. It's a great idea. I was also brought up not to waste food and I hate seeing food being thrown away.

Grammaretto Tue 19-Mar-19 18:55:06

Was it in a sealed foil container mumofmadboys? It's just that I've used elderly yeast which has not worked so I've used it to make slug bait.
We get free food from supermarkets for our weekly community meal, cooked by chefs.
Today it was lovely but sometimes it's not very nice. That's possibly because I'm not keen on processed food and readymeals.

Jalima1108 Tue 19-Mar-19 18:34:34

Littleannie DH had food poisoning from a prawn cocktail years ago - it only takes one prawn and they could have had a use-by date on them - but it was still contaminated.
BTW that was not at home, it was in a rather nice hotel!

Jalima1108 Tue 19-Mar-19 18:33:03

Oh, that's good mofmb

I wondered if out of date dried yeast would cease to work

mumofmadboys Tue 19-Mar-19 18:24:11

I made a loaf yesterday with dried yeast which said best before 2002!! The yeast worked well and the bread tasted great.

Littleannie Tue 19-Mar-19 16:44:48

I have never had food poisoning from anything in my house, but I once had it by eating a cream cake from a local shop. It was somebody's birthday at work, and we bought some cream cakes. Several of us were extremely ill with compilabacter (not sure of spelling). It took me 6 weeks to recover, and it was a really miserable experience.

Jalima1108 Tue 19-Mar-19 16:40:42

I would have tested them for you paddyann

I can remember that my MIL had a meat safe, Day6 - she still used it for some items even after she had a fridge.

Day6 Tue 19-Mar-19 16:35:12

I am another sniff and inspect sort where food is concerned, and I have never had food poisoning.

I grew up with no fridge too. Mum kept bottles of milk milk in pails of cold water, and meat wrapped in greaseproof paper on the marble shelves of the pantry. Bacon was sliced on a meat slicer in the Co-Op when and as needed and you could see the big flitch of bacon hanging up in the back - brought in and out by the butcher, sliced with rind on and wrapped in paper, then kept in the larder. It did us no harm.

We are the generation who remembers free (warm) milk at school, the spots of creamy, thick milk in our tea and butter turning to liquid in the warm months. We survived that. Mum was fastidious, and ensured flies could never settle on food - once out of the pantry it was covered again. My siblings and I seem to have strong digestive systems.grin

I actually prefer my yoghurt when it's past it's use by date - it's slightly thicker and creamier. My daughter would throw it out. I think "Waste not, want not" is stamped right the way through my body, like a stick of rock! I always feel satisfied if I can turn leftovers into a meal.

If it smells off, looks off or tastes bad, it goes into the bin.

paddyann Tue 19-Mar-19 16:26:38

I opened a box of Hotel Chocolat chocolates that had a BB date of 1st March .My guests ate most of them yesterday ,should I worry they'll all be ill? They looked fine and as I dont eat chocolate I have to take the others opinion that they tasted great .

moggie57 Tue 19-Mar-19 16:07:59

I think more supermarkets should do this . I usually go about 7pm at night when supermarket drastically reduce their food, and come home with plenty of is really disgusting the food they throw away.

Jalima1108 Tue 19-Mar-19 16:05:32

When our parents went food shopping nothing was packaged therefore nothing had a 'best before' or 'use by' date on it - fruit and veg was all loose and put into paper bags, meat wrapped in greaseproof paper, milk delivered daily in bottles, bread was baked daily (and the baker knew more or less how much was required) and sold off as 'stale' at the end of the day.

Leftover cooked rice can be dangerous as NanaMcGeek says, unless chilled immediately after cooking.

varian grin
I'm ok with my 2015 blackcurrants then - DH keeps telling me to get rid of them! They are going to be blackcurrant jelly.
People relied on their own common sense.

This is an excellent idea, Elegran and I think has been trialled in other areas.

varian Tue 19-Mar-19 15:20:10

I have just used up the last of the plums that I stoned and bagged and put in my freezer when we had a bumper harvest in 1996.

No-one who has eaten anything I've given them has ever suffered from food poisoning.

Pittcity Sun 27-Jan-19 13:50:21

Our local Co-op reduces these to 10p and they usually all go quickly.

I see quite a bit of fresh produce is undated now (I expect the shops have dates on the boxes) and you just use your common sense as to whether to buy/use it.

Blinko Sun 27-Jan-19 11:55:32

I'm a pre 'use by' or 'sell by' or 'best before' kinda person. I go on smell and taste. So far I've reached 71 with no food poisoning.....all the family have always been ok too, even when tiny.

So I say yah boo to the marketeers trying to get us all to chuck things away and buy more stuff.

Elegran Sun 27-Jan-19 11:51:04

The "useby" and "best before" labels were a good idea to make it clear to buyers just when the food they buy was produced and how long it has been on the shelf. (I remember once long ago when we were touring in a faroff corner of the country I saw pies in a small corner shop with patches of blue mould)

I think the original idea was to have the date of manufacture, in a form that was easily understood, not coded for the manufacturers information only. Then they took it one stage further, to show the approximate shelf-life of the product. This has now come to mean the exact shelf-life - by many people it is supposed to spontaneously become poisonous on that precise date, not a day earlier or a day later.

trisher Sun 27-Jan-19 11:04:53

I had some spinach and ricotta canelloni yesterday that should have been eaten on Thursday and I'm still here! Greggs have shops in the poorer areas of Newcastle that sell 'seconds' and reduced items.

glammanana Sun 27-Jan-19 10:12:16

Such a good idea Elegran its a scheme which should be operating in every City it will surely help the homeless and those people who find themselves in a position where they are struggling to make ends meet.
My DD gets off the bus from work and always goes into her local Tescos some of the reductions she buys are well worth having even down to ready meals which she freezes on the day she purchases for later in the week,she also does this for sliced bread which she uses for toast at breakfast time for the boys never has anyone had upset tummies.

Marydoll Sat 26-Jan-19 20:07:57

I still have that mindset Elegran, the result of being brought up in poverty.
My mother struggled daily to feed us, due to my father being unable to work, through chronic illness.

Elegran Sat 26-Jan-19 20:03:44

Neither have I, EllanVannin, not even way back as a child in the 1940's well before the introduction of fridges and date stamps on food. My mother stored food safely and used it sensibly. Rationing meant that throwing away usable basics would have meant having even less to cook with so she paid attention to where she bought perishables, how she kept them and how she cooked them.

BradfordLass72 Sat 26-Jan-19 19:57:56

"cut pre-packaged loaves, into a huge wheeled bin"

I hope that's just for the convenience of transporting it to Salvation Army and Baptist/Methodst etc charities who feed the homeless, to Women's Refuges and the many other deserving places who do sterling work with the needy. If not, I hope you will all bombard your supermarkets with this suggestion.
We have very strict food guidelines here and cafes/restaurants who have food left at the end of the day are not allowed to even give it away but supermarkets are - and do, to the above charities.

EllanVannin Sat 26-Jan-19 19:52:13

Well said NanaMacGeek.

Can I just ( boast ) here and say that I've never had food poisoning throughout my life nor has anything made me sick.
I value my gut and what goes into it.