Can the food be eaten after the expiration date? What does the indication of preferred consumption mean? There are certain doubts among consumers when it comes to preserving food products, especially due to the food waste, a problem of great magnitude globally.

One third of world food production ends up in trash cans, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and one of the objectives of the European Commission for the year 2030 is to reduce this waste by 50%.

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What are the main differences?

Taking these data into account, it is vitally important to know that “the expiration date is used in fresh products such as meat and fish with which We can get intoxicated if we consume them after the date, since they have microbiological risks “, highlights the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU). In this way, these products considered perishable should not be consumed after this date.

However, if the product indicates a preferred consumption date “we can be more flexible.” What does this mean? If this date passes, the food They may have lost quality and part of their properties, but they do not pose a health risk if they are consumed.

According to the OCU, not understanding this differentiation well “can lead us to risk eating food in poor condition” and to “throw away food that is still edible.”

Can all foods be eaten if the date is passed?

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Most products, especially packaged and canned products, have a preferred consumption date. In any case, “the label should indicate “this data. If it is meat or fish, the best option if they are not going to be consumed before the expiration date is to freeze them.

On the other hand, if the preferred consumption date passes, “it is no longer ensured that the product is in optimal condition” and it may present different flavors or aromas. The OCU recommends checking its status and “if it has a funny taste or smell, there are mold growths or it is cut, it is better to discard it “.

At a general level, anyone can eat a food if the best before date has passed, “there are cases in which you have to be more cautious, especially pregnant women, young children, the elderly and immunosuppressed people “.