I've certaily eaten past sell by date stuff as long as it looked OK and smelled OK and wasn't growing fur!Stolen from a New Orleans restaurant & cooking board. Food Spoilage Test What to throw-out and what to save! DAIRY PRODUCTS: Milk is spoiled when it starts to look like yogurt. Yogurt is spoiled when it starts to look like cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is spoiled when it starts to look like regular cheese. Regular cheese is nothing but spoiled milk anyway and can't get any more spoiled than it is already. Cheddar cheese is spoiled when you think it is blue cheese but you realize you've never purchased that kind. MAYONNAISE: If it makes you violently ill after you eat it, the mayonnaise is spoiled. FLOUR: Flour is spoiled when it wiggles. SALT: It never spoils. CEREAL: It is generally a good rule of thumb that cereal should be discarded when it is two years or longer beyond the expiration date. LETTUCE: Bibb lettuce is spoiled when you can't get it off the bottom of the vegetable crisper without Comet. Romaine lettuce is spoiled when it turns liquid. CANNED GOODS: Any canned goods that have become the size or shape of a softball should be disposed of. Carefully. CARROTS: A carrot that you can tie a clove hitch in is not fresh. RAISINS: Raisins should not be harder than your teeth. POTATOES: Fresh potatoes do not have roots, branches, or dense, leafy undergrowth. CHIP DIP: If you can take it out of its container and bounce it on the floor, it has gone bad. EMPTY CONTAINERS: Putting empty containers back into the refrigerator is an old trick, but it only works if you live with someone or have a maid. UNMARKED ITEMS: You know it is well beyond prime when you're tempted to discard the Tupperware along with the food. Generally speaking, Tupperware containers should not burp when you open them. GENERAL RULE OF THUMB: Most food cannot be kept longer than the average life span of a hamster. Keep a hamster in or nearby your refrigerator to gauge this. ;-) C.J.V.
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