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HOW FRESH IS FRESH FOOD FOOD TIPS BY TALLYRAND

 

"How fresh is fresh?"

Let us look first at the packaging. Different countries have different requirements as to how they should be stamped. On most packaged foods these days there are date stamps, these are either:

  • Packed / Manufactured on date

  • Sell by date

  • Best before date

  • Use by date

They are all different and it depends on your country’s food law requirements what you will find on your foods. As a food professional I would love to see all of them on each food. But let us look at what they mean (this is a bit of a generalisation as again it depends on your country’s requirements):

  • Packed / Manufactured on date

Packed on is generally found on foods that have been wrapped or processed within the supermarket, such as cooked and raw meats. This simply lets you know when they took the whole product, broke it down and re-packed it. It does not of course necessarily mean the whole product has not been in the shop for a week before that! You will have to rely on the supermarket’s quality control, turn over and reputation for that, needless to say most are very reliable these days.

  • Sell by date

This date is when the trader must sell the foods by. Many supermarkets sell foods in bargain bins that have gone past their sell by dates. Can they do this, is it legal, is it safe? Well in some countries they can, in others it is illegal. As to whether the food is safe to consume the answer is generally yes. But see below for my recommendations.

  • Best before date / Use by date

These two are more or less the same thing. They tell the customer when the food is at its peak and when it will start to deteriorate. This date should be later than the Sell by date. How much later will depend on the product and packaging. Again many supermarkets sell foods in bargain bins that have gone past their Best before / Use by dates. Can they do this, is it legal, is it safe? Well in some countries they can, in others it is illegal. As to whether the food is safe to consume the answer is generally yes. But again, see below for my recommendations or consult your local health authorities:

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Tallyrand’s recommendations for food usage

Milk and cream -

use within 03 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Sour cream -

use within 07 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Cottage cheese -

use within 03 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Soft cheeses -

use within 03 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Hard cheeses -

use within 07 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Bottled goods -

use within 07 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Tinned goods -

use within 28 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Dehydrated goods -

use within 28 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Raw meats -

use within 03 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Cooked meats -

use within 03 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Fresh fish / seafoods -

use within 01 day of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Frozen fish -

use within 07 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Frozen meats -

use within 07 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Frozen fruit/veg -

use within 14 days of the ‘Best before / Use by’ dates

Frozen vegetables / fruit and dehydrated goods generally do not pose a health risk if eaten later but their quality will not be the best. Of course checking with your local health officer is always the best. Your senses are normally a pretty good judge also - touch it, smell it, taste it and follow this simple rule:

“IF IN DOUBT THROW IT OUT”

RELATED RECIPE

  • Applies generally

Tallyrand
Food and Cooking Tips
from professional
Chef Tallyrand

 

Born and raised in Plymouth, Tallyrand started his initial training as a chef at Plymouth College of Further Education. It was here that he was to learn his love, his passion for food and the culinary arts. From here he headed to Germany to complete his apprenticeship as Commis de Gardemanger.

Germany gave him his first taste of cooking for the rich and famous, as half way through his first year, along with the Sous Chef and a Chef de Partie, he was whisked off to Cologne to help prepare meals for a political conference, where amongst other dignitaries they cooked for Mr Brehznev, the then powerful Russian leader. This was to prove to be just one of the many celebrities he was to cook for or get to know over the years . . .

If you would like to find out more why not visit Tallyrand's own web site www.tallyrand.info (link in main menu)

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com