Is stale bread good for everything

Are the bread and milk still good?

"Best before ..." - and then?

Often, unopened food ends up in the garbage only because the expiry date has already been exceeded. It doesn't have to be!

Most foods come with one Best before date marked. This is not a throw-away date! This is only a recommendation by the manufacturer as to the time by which the food should be consumed in the best possible way. "Best before" - up to this date it guarantees the specific properties of the product such as taste, smell, color, consistency or nutritional value. The food is therefore not necessarily spoiled after the best-before date has passed.

It looks different with the so-called Use-by date out. Only a few perishable foods, such as minced meat, fish or fresh poultry, have this date on their labels. “Use by” means the date by which the food should be consumed. If this date has already been exceeded, the food should actually be thrown in the garbage can for health reasons, because germs multiply quickly.

How can you tell whether eggs, jam, nuts, flour and mineral water are still good?

Many foods can be consumed for weeks or even months after the best-before date has expired. How do you find out?
Quite simply: rely on your own senses! Changes in smell, consistency or color usually indicate reliably whether the food should still be consumed or, better still, not.

The Hamburg consumer center has drawn up a checklist for this purpose, with the aid of which the various foods can be carefully examined for their palatability. It also shows tips on how to keep food fresh and how to store it, which can keep food out of the bin:

bread and buns

Still harmless after the best-before date has expired?
Yes, several days.
How can you check the palatability?
Does the bread have any moldy spots? Does it smell musty and does it taste stale? If so, then it should be disposed of completely.
What can you do?
Dry leftover bread can be used to make bread dumplings, breadcrumbs or croutons.
So it stays fresh longer!
Bread should be stored at room temperature and not in the refrigerator. It should also be kept in a bread box instead of a plastic bag. In order to extend the shelf life, it is possible to freeze it in portions.
Shopping tip:
Whole and dark bread (for example sourdough or rye bread) lasts longer than pre-cut wheat bread.

Eggs

Still harmless after the best-before date has expired?
Yes, about two weeks. Exceptions are dishes for which raw eggs have been used, such as tiramisu.
How can you test edibility?
For example using a water glass test: Place the egg in a glass with water. If the egg is still fresh, it will stay on its side at the bottom. If it stands up but still touches the ground, it is already a bit older. If it floats at the top of the water, however, it should be disposed of. In addition, a putrid smell and fibrous consistency indicate that eggs are inedible.
That way it stays fresh longer!
Eggs should be stored in the refrigerator door or in the egg carton at <10 ° degrees. In addition, the eggshell should not come into contact with other foods - this is where salmonella transmission is possible.

jam

Still harmless after the best-before date has expired?
Yes, several months to years after the expiry date.
How can you test edibility?
If the jam is no longer edible, easily visible mold will form on the surface.
What can you do?
In the case of jams and jams with more than 50 percent sugar, the mold can be generously removed and the product consumed. However, if the sweet bort spreads contain less than 50 percent sugar, they should be disposed of.
So it stays fresh longer!
Jams and jams should be stored in the dark. Once opened, they belong in the refrigerator. Clean knives or spoons should always be used to portion the jam so that germs do not multiply.

nuts

Still harmless after the best-before date has expired?
Yes, several months.
How can you test edibility?
If the nuts have moldy, black spots, smell rancid, taste bitter or if there are already moths or bugs in the packaging, the nuts should be disposed of as soon as possible.
The shake test also helps with unopened nuts: If the kernel rattles in the shell, it has dried up and the nut is old.
That way it stays fresh longer!
Store nuts protected from light, airtight and <20 ° C. If the nuts have already been shelled or even ground, they can be kept in the refrigerator for about four weeks. Nuts can also be frozen.

Flour, baking powder & Co.

Still harmless after the best-before date has expired?
Yes, for several weeks and months.
How can you test edibility?
If there are already pests such as mites or moths in the flour or baking powder - get rid of them immediately! A musty smell also indicates that the food is ripe for the bin. Whole grain products generally go rancid faster.
That way it stays fresh longer!
Store flour, baking powder and Co. in a dark place at room temperature. In addition, well-sealable storage jars are suitable for storage.

Mineral water

Still harmless after the best-before date has expired?
Yes, several months to years.
How can you test edibility?
If the water is already cloudy or tastes musty and stale, it is no longer drinkable.
That way it stays fresh longer!
It is best to store opened bottles in the refrigerator.
Shopping tip:
Water in plastic bottles does not last as long as water in glass bottles. The reason for this is that germs can multiply in plastic bottles through more air exchange.

Vinegar oil

Still harmless after the best-before date has expired?
Yes, several months.
How can you test edibility?
If oils and vinegar become cloudy, smell rancid, changed or pungent and taste bitter, this is a sign that they are no longer good.
So it stays fresh longer!
Always store vinegar and oils in the dark and at room temperature. Caution with linseed oil: This is particularly sensitive and should therefore be stored in a cool place.

Dairy products such as yogurt, quark or sour cream

Still harmless after the best-before date has expired?
Yes, unopened for days to months, open for a few days
How can you test edibility?
Fermented, alcoholic smell as well as mold on the surface or strong blistering? These products should no longer be consumed! Sometimes there is a build-up of liquid in yogurt - this is completely harmless and natural whey. The product is still perfectly fine and can therefore be consumed without hesitation.
Shopping tips:
Due to the lactic acid they contain, sour milk products have a natural acid protection. Ready-made puddings or rice pudding no longer have this protective acid layer. Accordingly, such products spoil faster.
So it stays fresh longer!
Milk products should be kept sealed in the refrigerator.

There are many more tips on food shelf life here.

Status: February 2020