FSA warns consumers to pay attention to ‘best before’ dates

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is warning people not to take risks when using left-over food and food that has passed its use-by date.

Research carried out by the FSA to launch Food Safety Week yesterday (11 June), showed that 47% of people asked had tried to make better use of leftover food by reusing it. Many people also admitted ignoring the best-before and use-by dates on food packaging.

Bob Martin, food safety expert at the FSA, said: “Using leftover food is a good way of making our meals go further. However, unless we’re careful, there’s a chance we can risk food poisoning by not storing or handling them properly.”

Eating meat after the expiry date is often a topic of debate, with many arguing against expiry dates and suggesting people use their common sense. However, Martin pointed out that it was not always possible to tell when food had gone off.

“It’s tempting to just give your food a sniff to see if you think it’s gone ‘off’, but food bugs like E.coli and salmonella don’t cause food to smell off, even when they may have grown to dangerous levels,” he said. “So food could look and smell fine but still be harmful.”

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