Food Safety Issues/expiration date

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Question
Pork roast from walmart now 3 days past use or freeze date.  Is it still good.  I know some of those dates are sometimes wrong

Answer
Hi Carolyn,

The dates on meat are pretty accurate as to when the meat should be used or frozen for future use.  If the date is a "sell by" date then you have 2-3 days past the date that you can safely use the pork roast.  However, if it truly is a "use by" date then you really should use the roast or freeze it on that date.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if meat that is past it's use by date is still safe. That's because the organisms that can cause food borne illness do not give off any physical indicators that they are present.  Food spoilage organisms, on the other hand, can give signals that the food is beyond it's prime.  Features such as dark colored or brown meat, slimy texture or off odor are all indications that food spoilage organisms are fast at work.  These organisms do not make the meat unsafe to eat (though they make the quality, texture and taste definitely not as appetizing) but they can be hiding food borne illness organisms which can make you ill.

So...if the date is a "use by" then I would not prepare the meat.  If the date is a "sell by" date then I would prepare it ASAP as time is quickly running out on the safety of the product.

Carol

Food Safety Issues

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Carol Schlitt

Expertise

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

Experience

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 - www.safeandsavorysolution.com

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

Education/Credentials
BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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