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.