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Use By/ Best Before Dates

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Danny M2Z17/11/2015 10:27:35
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I just noticed that my packet of salt has a best before date of 16 Feb 2017 08:45. What would happen to me if I used it at 08:46?

My jar of lovely honey is similar, I thought that this lasted forever.

Shall the day come when a lathe cutting tool or and end mill has to succumb to the politically correct Richard Craniums that like to interfere with our lives?

Just wondering? * Danny M *

Hopper17/11/2015 10:38:24
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"Best before" is pure marketing BS to get you to buy more salt. Ignore it. That salt sat on some salt lake or in some underground salt mine etc for countless eons before you bought it.

"Use by" actually may have some meaning related to safe storage time for perishables

As for lathe tools, as soon as the Richards figure out you can use them to make gun parts you wont be able to buy them anyway, apparently..

Frankiethepill17/11/2015 11:16:32
19 forum posts

I, in my day job, am a pharmacist, and like most professional institutions we are inspected every year or so. The inspector called some years ago and noticed on a shelf with other drugs and chemicals a jar of Sodium Chloride (aka salt) with a very brown and faded label , which was so old that it didn't even have an expiry date. He pointed out that it wasn't really proper to possess such an item, to which I replied that I only kept it to use on the chips I consumed sometimes at lunchtime when we were closed (not the best thing to admit to an inspector possibly), and that it had been in the ground in Cheshire for the last 50 million years so what was the problem? It still had to go!

Rules is rules, guv. I'm curious what salt turns into when it goes off!

Francis

Steven Vine17/11/2015 11:18:23
340 forum posts
30 photos

Just to bring things slightly back towards engineering ...

I valued some stock in a pub today. They use a tall plastic container as a water reservoir for when they clean the beer lines. The container had a BBE date on it! I presume the plastic must degrade over time.

Also, seeing as you noted a time, are you sure you are not looking at a production date. The machine dates are normally accompanied by a time. Best before and Use by dates generally don't show a time (though I stand to be corrected). Ah, scrub that. I see the date is 2017.

Steve

 

Edited By Steven Vine on 17/11/2015 11:23:49

Edited By Steven Vine on 17/11/2015 11:27:51

Michael Gilligan17/11/2015 11:22:25
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Posted by Steven Vine on 17/11/2015 11:18:23:

The container had a BBE date on it! I presume the plastic must degrade over time.

.

... and that may actually have something to do with what appears to be nonsense regarding Danny's packet of Salt.

MichaelG.

Eugene17/11/2015 11:40:16
131 forum posts
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Allowing for some of the much dreaded thread drift ..... a chum of mine had a small farm shop where he sold his stuff to Joe and Josephine Public quite happily.

Along comes yer actual Elfin Safety lady who spies a stack of fresh dug swedes on the floor . Words follow to the effect of "You can't do that there here, them swedes is lying on dirt."

"And where the **** do you think I got 'em from Miss, The ******** North Sea?"

He won the battle and lost the war, as per usual with these types.

Eug

 

 

 

 

 

Edited By Eugene on 17/11/2015 11:40:49

Ajohnw17/11/2015 11:44:03
3631 forum posts
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With none perishables it's often a load of junk. Spices and herbs for instance may loose some of their flavour but will have done by the time the sell by date is up anyway and will have also lost some on the way to that point of sale.

indecisionI suppose salt will be subjected to a certain amount of moisture ingress from the atmosphere so they probably established a use by date on the basis that the packet or what ever will be opened n times a day in a rain forest.

I will add for Michael that there are carefully controlled standards relating to  what food can be packed in.

John

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Edited By John W1 on 17/11/2015 11:45:31

ega17/11/2015 11:47:38
2323 forum posts
190 photos

This discussion reminds me of the large quantities of pharmaceutical products which are routinely discarded. I gather from a recent discussion with an enlightened GP that anything - eg unopened packet of incontinence pads - returned to the pharmacy has to be destroyed; however, if such things are returned to that particular GP's surgery they can be used.

Martin Kyte17/11/2015 12:00:01
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Has at lest some of this got to do with liability.

Is it reasonable to expect the supplier to be liable for the state of a product and it's packaging for eternity.?

Martin

Roger Williams 217/11/2015 12:09:24
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Richard Cranium, thats a good'n.

I know a bloke who ate a yoghurt that had been in his fridge for a YEAR, perfect.

Bazyle17/11/2015 12:36:24
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On the other hand there was that polar exploration team that got stranded and thought they would have been ok eating their tinned food that had just been invented. However as a result of the lead soldering to make the tins half of them died from lead poisoning instead of starvation.

Danny M2Z17/11/2015 12:44:37
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Posted by Roger Williams 2 on 17/11/2015 12:09:24:

Richard Cranium, thats a good'n.

I know a bloke who ate a yoghurt that had been in his fridge for a YEAR, perfect.

Lol, glad you worked it out ....... I saw a yogurt that was in my mate's fridge for two weeks, it was festering, the top was swelling like a balloon.

Alexander Fleming could have bred multiple species of bacilli from the rotting mess. A power cut (lightning strike) took out the fridge, microwave and TV while they were on holiday. First thing they knew about it was when the garage door would not open to the remote..

* Danny M *

Ajohnw17/11/2015 13:06:00
3631 forum posts
160 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 17/11/2015 12:36:24:

On the other hand there was that polar exploration team that got stranded and thought they would have been ok eating their tinned food that had just been invented. However as a result of the lead soldering to make the tins half of them died from lead poisoning instead of starvation.

A more accurate fact - lead poisoning may have worsened their health.

**LINK**

I worked in a lead acid battery factory for some years. Regular blood tests to much lower limits than usually used. Sometimes people would prove positive. Not a problem if ingested, usually by eating sandwiches etc without washing hands. Much of leads bad press is really down to fumes and dust getting in the lungs as then there is a perpetual source of it that wont go away.

There was a serious problem with tin canned food. Pin holes in the tin coating but they have been coated with a plastic film as well for some time now.

There are still a number of old houses in the UK that still have lead water supply pipes. That has been a worry for some time.

John

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LesR17/11/2015 13:40:30
7 forum posts

As to the reference to the beer line cleaning bottle, they are pressure vessels and require a date to show when they require replacing. This has been around since the Brewing Society introduced its Code of Practice around 1975

Les

Michael Gilligan17/11/2015 14:21:58
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Posted by John W1 on 17/11/2015 11:44:03:

I will add for Michael that there are carefully controlled standards relating to what food can be packed in.

John

.

Be that as it may, John ... Plastics degrade, and plasticizers leach out.

... I believe it's one of the reasons that 'bottled water' bottles are considered 'single use' containers.

MichaelG.

.

P.S. ... There is plenty of gossip on the internet, but this should be a credible source for anyone seriously interested, and includes this relevant page about BPA, etc.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 17/11/2015 14:35:15

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 17/11/2015 14:41:43

John Stevenson17/11/2015 14:25:17
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Posted by David Clarke1

"This thread is past its sell by date and should be deleted."

OK David, now deleted.

Neil Wyatt17/11/2015 14:46:51
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I find these dates really useful. I know my Stilton is ready to eat exactly two months after the use by date.

Neil

David Clark 117/11/2015 15:08:17
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Thank You John

A bit of common sense goes a long way and does not get out of date.

duncan webster17/11/2015 15:15:06
3588 forum posts
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Back in my impeconious student days we reckoned that you should cut off the green bits before eating it. Didn't apply to cabbage of course, but how many students eat cabbage?

Peter G. Shaw17/11/2015 15:58:31
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There is a serious point to some of this.

Many years ago, I had some cream for a specific problem which does occasionally rear it's ugly head. On one occasion, I used this cream only it was something like 6 months past it's use by date. Serious mistake - the problem got worse! I reverted to Germolene and since then have used Vaseline when required.

Also, one New Years weekend, I discovered that my paracetamol tablets were just, eg a couple of days, past their use by date, and no chance of getting anymore (they were being supplied on prescription - don't ask), so I used them. Thereafter I attempted to ascertain what the absolute do not use after date was likely to be as I did not believe that these pills were ok at 1 minute to midnight, yet 2 minutes later not to be used. Needless to say, and probably rightly so, I could not obtain a definitive answer. However, a consultant friend did confirm that they would probably be ok for a few weeks, maybe a few months, but not to make a habit of it. He also said that they do deteriorate with time.

Since then, I have been very careful to discard anything which is past its use by date.

Regards,

Peter G. Shaw

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