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What Foods Should You Never Eat After an Expiration Date?

August 4, 2021

We all know that person: “Oh it’s just a week past the expiration date. It’s fine. Those are just there for the lawyers.”

While some people may think that it’s okay to sample foods beyond the expiration date, this isn’t a risk you can afford to take as a food handler. Though some foods may seem like they’re okay a couple days beyond their death certificate, there are definitely a lot of them out there that restaurants and food servers should never, ever take a chance on.

 

Here are the top 5 food items to always throw away on their expiration date.

 

1.   Jarred Condiments

It may seem like condiments last forever, but the truth is that once the safety seal on your jars is broken, bacteria is slowly starting to collect. With each opening and each knife dip, your jarred condiments will inch closer to their expiration date. Once that date hits, it’s time to toss your condiments and buy more.

If you are unsure of the freshness of your condiments, a visual test should tell you everything you need to know. If you open your jar and find liquid floating at the top the chances are your condiments have gone bad or are on the brink. Don’t risk it. Get rid of it!

 

2.   Soft Cheeses

Aged cheeses are all the rage when it comes to connoisseurs and charcuterie tray lovers. However, never take a chance on days old opened or expired soft cheeses.

Brie, cream cheese, Ricotta, and other soft cheeses only last a few days after they’ve been opened. So, if you plan on using these types of cheeses in your recipes, make sure your restaurant buys fresh, in order to avoid the embarrassment of opening up that “like new” bag of saved soft cheeses, only to find that it’s growing mold.

 

3.   Egg Substitutes

Fresh eggs are safe to keep in your fridge for around 3 to 5 weeks. However, egg substitutes that come in a carton only last around 5 days after being opened, and 10 unopened. Even pasteurized, expired eggs and egg substitutes are never anything you want to risk at your food service establishment.

 

4.   Cold Pressed Juice

Cold pressed juices aren’t pasteurized like other juices you’d buy at a supermarket. Therefore, they have no place sitting around in your refrigerator after their expiration date.

In fact, we suggest drinking fresh juices as soon as possible. Trust us, you and your guests can use the pure nutrients.

 

5.   Fresh Berries

As much as we’d like to say that your berries will stay fresh for a decent amount of time, that just isn’t true. Fresh berries from the store or farmers market must be eaten and refrigerated within a week.

The expiration date on store-bought berries is fairly accurate to this point, but we suggest always tossing what you don’t eat after a week.

If you want your berries to survive to a later date, package them tightly and freeze them until it’s time to use them. However, once you thaw them out, they should all be used at once with the leftovers thrown away.

 

Continue Your Food Service Safety Education with Certified On The Fly

This list is just a taste of what you shouldn’t let fester in your refrigerator. If you want to learn more about other foods that you should never use beyond the expiration date or just need a brush up on general food safety, we can help!

Certified On The Fly is an online Texas Food Handler certification course that keeps our customers up-to-date with their certifications and industry standards, licensed and accredited by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Register online today to start our affordable, simple certification process!

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