View Full Version : Sell-by Dates

16th Dec 2006, 00:40
Well, "Best before", as they are now.

We got this packet of butter, bearing the legend
"Best before ... 20 January 2043 "

I mean, how can they be so precise that it's good for that many years, and then pick a day in January when it goes off?

I thought it would be a good idea to buy a stock of this "long life" stuff, and maybe even get a bit of a volume rebate. Today when we looked, the labels said
"Best before ... 24 January 1A67 "

I mean, what kind of a date is that?

Lon More
16th Dec 2006, 00:45
Don't know about the butter, but was clearing out the bedside cabinet last week and found an unopened packet of Durex with a use before date of 1991.
Says everything about my love life recently Sigh!!:hmm:

16th Dec 2006, 09:26
i remember finding something like that in my Dad's bedside cabinet, years ago.....

tony draper
16th Dec 2006, 10:01
Luckily for you he obviously couldn't find em on one occasion.:rolleyes:

16th Dec 2006, 11:54
Don't know about 'sell by' but I'm certainly well beyond my 'best before'.

16th Dec 2006, 12:06
"Best before ... 24 January 1A67 "
I mean, what kind of a date is that?

C'mon, Keef. Have you worked out what 1A67 is in hex? :ok:

Even longer life to 6759! you're on to a winner.

16th Dec 2006, 13:12
I mean, how can they be so precise that it's good for that many years, and then pick a day in January when it goes off?
It's like the little kid who goes to the museum and the next day tells his teacher that the dinosaur was fifty million years and one day old, the teacher asks him what he means and he says well, when we went yesterday, the sign said fifty million years . . .

Says everything about my love life not as much as the bit at the bottom that says "Extra Small" :}

Interestingly in the US, Durex is a make of Bicycle wheel :confused:

And there's Durex Power Steering (http://www.durexpowersteering.com/) too :8

16th Dec 2006, 14:35
Australian Sellotape, isn't it ?

16th Dec 2006, 20:27
Even longer life to 6759! you're on to a winners'not that long in the Jewish Calendar :8

Floppy Link
17th Dec 2006, 14:13
...wasn't it last year that M&S advent calendars were reported to have "best before 15 Dec 2005"...

17th Dec 2006, 22:03
No problem! A certain warehouse near me allegedly specialises in "extensions" to sell by dates. They wipe 'em off and re-apply new ones, according to an ex-employee who is a friend of my son. :rolleyes:

18th Dec 2006, 12:09
Keef, if you bought it from the Northern-based supermarket I use, that "2043" probably refers to 20:43hrs on the day you bought it!

18th Dec 2006, 12:16
What REALLY piddles me off is all this bottled water nonsense!

We are told that it is filtered down through pure underground streams and purified by mountain dew and sunshine for thousands of years...

Then you look on the bottle and see it is due to go off next week...

Very clever of them to take this thousand year purification process and collect the water and sell it to me just days before it finally goes off!


green granite
18th Dec 2006, 12:32
The 'best before' dates are more about quality than safety, so when the date runs out it doesn't mean that the food will be harmful, but it might begin to lose its flavour and texture.
You will see 'use by' dates on food that goes off quickly, such as smoked fish, meat products and ready-prepared salads.Don't use any food or drink after the end of the 'use by' date on the label, even if it looks and smells fine. This is because using it after this date could put your health at risk.

18th Dec 2006, 13:59
Saw some (admittedly stupid-early) mince pies in Tescos or M&S a while ago (early NOV?).

Rubric on the pack says something like: "Ideal for after that special Christmas Dinner".

You've guessed It: "Best Before 17th December......."

Had some really accurate yogurts once .....

....read something like "Best before 21:30 on 30th September......."

really b%ggers up that midnight snack then.....

18th Dec 2006, 14:10
To the amusement and/or horror of my friends and acquaintances, I often eat food past its use by date. Similarly, things that have been stored in my freezer for too long. The funny thing is that I'm not the one that's prone to gyppie tummy in far away realms.

18th Dec 2006, 14:49
I am normally careful over 'use by' but the one (weekly) exception is the 4x dairy choc eclairs that the aforementioned sell me - never with better than 3 days to go! Always eat the last one 24hrs too late.

As to frozen 'best before', eating stuff now that's over 3 months beyond bb.

cessna l plate
18th Dec 2006, 15:52
I opened some jam from the fridge last week. Granted, not used it for a while, had a best before date of last January. It tasted ok, but my point is....

Isn't jam a bloody "preserve" ????

18th Dec 2006, 21:52
Having had a clearout of the freezer recently, a couple of lovely beef joints were discovered lurking at the bottom. There is no sell by date, so they must be OK.

Free to a good home.

Mind you, they are only there because they pre-date the mad cow disease scare.

Anyone like beef? Baaaa.. sorry, Moo...oo! ! (( :uhoh: ))

18th Dec 2006, 22:39
I wouldn't mind a bit of your beef ShyT; provided it hasn't got freezer burn, it'll be OK!



18th Dec 2006, 22:51
In the heady far-off days before sell-by or best-before dates, my mum used to make pickled onions and jam and all sorts. The theory, as she explained it, was that they would keep for a very long time. That's what pickling was for. The pickled onions and pickled walnuts lasted till the next year's crop.

Pheasants and partridges (I shot lots of them in those days) were left to hang for a week before they were ready to eat.

Butter, though - that had to be fresh. A few days in the fridge at most, she insisted.

Now, I get butter that says it's good till 2043, and pickled onions with an expiry date a couple of months away. Pheasants from the butcher are "eat within two days of purchase".

I reckon it's the Government's fault.

18th Dec 2006, 23:01
So who's been reading my personal title...
I must admit tha I have never been one to look at these dates and decide that I should have eaten it yesterday, and now it's too late.
Having said that I NEVER trust sausage that is even close to the date.

tony draper
18th Dec 2006, 23:09
Store bought pickles and jams don't last long now Mr Keef unless one keeps em in the fridge,the health nazis made em take all that good wholesome monosodium glutamate, preservative and artificial colouring out of em,they self destruct within days of opening now, unless as stated you keep em refrigerated, I have a fondness for pickled red cabbage but unless one scoffs the whole jar in one sitting it turns into black mush even if it is kept in the fridge.
Of course the manufacturors of pickles jams ect love this.
Saying that we had a thread a few years ago titled The oldest food item in your cupboard",if I recal correctly I won hands down with a tin of pilchards that had remained hidden in the back of the cupboard since the seventies.
Err come to think they might still be there.

18th Dec 2006, 23:23
I thought it was the acetic acid in the vinegar that kept the pickles fresh. Not sure what it was in the jam. Monosodium glutamate isn't in it - is it? I thought that's the stuff they put into Chinese food to give it flavour.

I keep my pickled onions in the fridge and they go on for months. I like red cabbage the German way - Apfelrotkohl. Delicious! Not keen on it pickled.

tony draper
18th Dec 2006, 23:44
One was being a bit of a wag Mr Keef, nevertheless something has changed we never used to have to keep jam in the fridge,open a jar of jam now and inadvertantly leave it out and within a few days you have a crop of mould Fleming would be proud of.
One puts it down to that bit on the label that says free from artifical colouring and preservative,unless of course it is down to them removing that wee gollywog somehow.

henry crun
19th Dec 2006, 02:37
I reckon they are not leaving something out, but putting something in your jam if it goes off that quickly Mr D.

I cannot buy the quince jam I am rather partial too so I make my own using just sugar, quinces, and the juice of a few lemons.
It never goes mouldy, even it a big jar has been is use for two or three months without refridgeration.

19th Dec 2006, 03:49
BS was "Best Before August 1987" but even half way down the hill I'm still OK.

We used to make pickled onions, pickled cabbage and jam. We didn't put any artificial preservatives in - just vinegar and peppercorns in the onions and sugar in the jam (never get it the wrong way round!) yet it all used to keep for as long as it took to empty the jar once we opened it. I reckon there's something in the store bought jam and pickles to make it go off, so's you have to buy a new jar.

Having said that, we do have a jar of mince from that golliwog company in the fridge that's two years old and it still looks and smells OK. After half an hour in the oven at 200 C, it should be OK for eating I reckon. Or should we do one of them HSE 'Risk Assessments' on the mince pies this year?

Loose rivets
19th Dec 2006, 04:47
:mad: sell-by dates!!!

Damn things are still costing me months after the Rivetess' purse was stolen while she dutifully checked dates. Re-fingerprinting Re photographing Re this and Re that. Hours...days even redoing her green card. "We are the victims of crime...not some careless bu$$ers Cant you be kind and just send us another one?" Silence.

So, carful checking of dates and a moment's distraction...$1,000s and days of work.

Fcuk sell-by dates.

tony draper
19th Dec 2006, 07:46
The worst jam I ever came across was Greenguage jam(sp?)British shipowner somehow got their hands on ten million half gallon tins of the foul stuff because every ship I was ever on was always well stocked with it,the cook would ceremoniously open a tin and bring it into the crew mess room and deposit it on the table,when he left a crew member would ceremoniously pick it up and throw it over the side,the floor of every ocean the red duster ever plied is littered with newly opened tins of greengauge jam,one suspects tiz not global warming that is destroying coral reefs and fish stocks, tiz greengauge jam.

19th Dec 2006, 08:05
The law states that alll processed food for sale must have, at least, a "Best Before" date - so to cover one's a$$ it won't be very far away.

I make pickled onions the old fashioned way - due to lack of time I'm on the last jar of a batch from 2002 and they are perfectly fine. I suspect the factory ones are not prepared properly (it takes time) so they go mushy.

19th Dec 2006, 08:59
Buy a salt cellar of rock salt and it will have a best by date on it.

They dig it out of a salt dome where it has sat untouched for millions of years - and suddenly itīs going to off.....

19th Dec 2006, 09:35
I now live on the edge being poisoned. My wife looks at the 'Use by', 'Best before' dates, and thinks "That date is tuesday" or whatever. She then plans to have that product on that date. So we end up having all our fresh products in a meal on the last safe date to eat it. :eek:

19th Dec 2006, 10:43
Why does commercial beer have a sell-by date on it, yet home brew is best kept for centuries? :confused:

tony draper
19th Dec 2006, 12:09
Newcastle Brown Ale used to go off,true that is, it had a half life,they used to change a suspect bottle no questioned asked in the pubs round here if one tasted it and decided it was off, in the mid sixties they started to pasturise it so it would last longer than a week or so, that is the reason that the old brown dog could only be had in Newcastle and surrounding districts at one time, of course lots of the old timers recon Newky Brown was never the same after it was pasturised.
:uhoh: :rolleyes:

19th Dec 2006, 16:52
Stilton Cheese.

Never did quite get the point of a sell by date on mould.

19th Dec 2006, 17:00
Why does sour cream have a sell-by date? :hmm:

There was never any of this faff with a larder and cold slab. Common sense prevailed.

Ooh, can't eat this: the sell-by date was yesterday.

Wimps. :}

19th Dec 2006, 22:17
When trying to assuage some visiting thirsts one evening, I unearthed (or undusted) some cans of bitter under the stairs, where I stash such stuff.
'I think they've been there a while' I said, somewhat superfluously. When examined, they turned out to be three years beyond their BB/SB date.
The assembled company tested one on the thirstiest body, who pronounced it superb. They drank the lot. Subsequent experiments by same people revealed that in-date beer was nothing like as good (nor anything like as potent...).
A new take on buying wine to nurture and mature.

19th Dec 2006, 22:52
C'mon, Keef. Have you worked out what 1A67 is in hex? :ok:

Even longer life to 6759! you're on to a winner.

ah yes hexa-decimal , first time to hear this kinda computer lingo for a long time, actually ive forgotten how to count in it, but i still remeber binary :)

always take caution when eating out dated pork sausages, cause i ate 2 when there sell by date expired a good week out, lol tasted a bit funky

19th Dec 2006, 23:19
I wouldn't mind a bit of your beef ShyT; provided it hasn't got freezer burn, it'll be OK!



Freezer burn, possibly. Wouldn't want to risk it, I'm not sure of it's origins, I think it was hunted and shot on safari in deepest Derbyshire, somewhere around mad cow disease and/or foot and mouth time! It might even have got both - gone mad but couldn't tell anyone nor run away... :}

Might have to give it a decent burial!

20th Dec 2006, 06:57
Shame - A lovely piece of Belper beef forgotten about and going to waste!

Tell you what - cook the beef up for the puppy and if she turns her nose up at it, you know it's no good. If she eats it, then it's OK!

I hate to see food go to waste, let it go tto my waist instead!



20th Dec 2006, 14:49

err I think the 1a is something to do with tracing the batch of milk and plant that the butter was made out of and the 67 is the number of 6 min intervals that it was packaged in hex ie it was produced at 10:18am. Everything on the same day has the same sell by date. So you know which day it was made on.

Its so they can cut down a batch of several hundred thousand into hundreds.

I believe that a couple of murders have been proved by showing that beer bottles where from the same pack at someones house and at the murder scene.

Well thats what it means at tennets brewery in Glasgow.

Each company is different and the codes mean different things to do with batch control. It's so that instead of recalling a whole batch they can recall only part of the batch. If there was say a leak of hydralic fluid in the packaging plant and it contaminated production from 9am until discovered at 9:30am they will only have to test back until they find a clean sample then they can pull the stock from that time period.