Flying in the face of the dreaded use-by date

Todmorden man Jamie Le'scot pictured with Jo Royle, Niomi McIntyre and Kayla Sutcliffe, who are helping him in his quest to raise awareness of the food thrown away by supermarkets
Todmorden man Jamie Le'scot pictured with Jo Royle, Niomi McIntyre and Kayla Sutcliffe, who are helping him in his quest to raise awareness of the food thrown away by supermarkets
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SO what actually happens when you consume food after its Use-By date? Reader, do you really want to know? Very well, but the tale is not a pretty one…

There they were in the fridge, some smoked mackerel fillets. Just right for a tasty, nourishing lunch. But the phrase “Use By July 31” was stamped on the carton!

And it was August 1.

Dare I defy the tyranny of the Use-By date, which has become one of the iron laws of the Universe, second only to gravity as a governing principle in our lives?

I sniffed the fillets. They seemed to be OK. Summoning up all my courage I began to eat.

There was a crash of thunder! The room was filled with an unearthly cackling and a phalanx of loathsome creatures carrying pitchforks rushed in! They were followed by an enormous man clad in a swirling black cape, his face the very embodiment of evil.

”SO!” he said, in a voice that rumbled from the depths of the earth. “You dare to eat smoked mackerel after the Use-By date! For this sin you must descend to my infernal realm where you will spend the rest of eternity eating slightly stale bread, cheese that is a little bit mouldy and drinking milk that is becoming a bit whiffy! Ha, ha, ha, ha, haaaaa!”

Then I woke up. It had all been a dream! The smoked mackerel was OK after all…

Yes, reader, using common sense you CAN eat food that is a little bit past its Sell-By or Use-By date and live to tell the tale.

So let’s lend our support to the idealistic Todmorden chap who has started a campaign to prevent supermarkets chucking away large amounts of perfectly edible food. It’s a worthy cause.