Food Safety Issues/Christmas pudding


QUESTION: I have 2 shop-bought Christmas puddings in my cupboard.
One is 'best before 2 mar 12' and the other 'sept 12'.
Will it be safe (and palatable) to eat them this Christmas?

ANSWER: Hi Gill,

Being from Illinois in the United States I'm not familiar with the type of packaging of your Christmas puddings (I am quite familiar with Christmas pudding -- just not how store-bought versions are packaged)

Would you please send to me the name and manufacturer of your pudding and how it is packaged. I'll be happy to do my best in getting you an answer after I have this information.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ok, thanks Carol
March 12 best by - Marks & Spencer Perfectly Matured Pudding is in a plastic bowl with heat-sealed plastic over the top

Sept 12 best by - Tesco Finest Christmas Pudding with Courvoisier Cognac. This has the same packaging as before.

Thanks for your help with this


Hi Again,

I am in the process of contacting both companies to see what they recommend for their particular products.  When I receive their reply I'll let you know.

Until then...


Hi Gill,

I heard back from Marks & Spencer today and here is their reply:

Dear Ms Schlitt

Thank you for your email about our Marks & Spencer Perfectly Matured Pudding.

Our expiry dates are set considering both quality and the safety of the food items. We would not recommend our customers to consume any food item which has passed its expiry date. In this particular case due to the long period of time we would strongly advise the customer not to eat this food item.

Haven't heard from Tesco but I suspect I'll get the same reply.

So....I think it best to pitch the puddings and purchase new ones for the holidays.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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