Determining whether the food is expired or not is easy but not always. Sometimes we are eating without knowing the food’s current condition.
I bought a cracker from a sari-sari store. I ate it right away and did not check whether it was expired or not. I was about to throw the cracker bag when I accidentally saw the expiration date. The cracker was two months expired. Thank God! Nothing happened to me and my tummy.
I went to wedding celebration. I ate rice, two meat dishes and one veggie. My stomach got achy after a while. I went home and poo. Then mom told me that I was not alone, other wedding goers also suffered stomach pain. One of the meat dish we ate was spoiled. How unlucky!
There are several ways to know if the food is spoiled or expired:
1) Look for physical contaminants like pieces of sand, metal, glass and wood.
2) Sniff the food several times before inserting it to your hungry stomach. Doing this might be an embarrassment in a large gathering but its better safe than sorry. Any off odor is a sign of microbial growth, chemical contamination or rancidity.
3) Look for discoloration or slime. Evaporated milk should be white. You should not consume yellow or red milk. I already saw a spoiled yellow milk. Red milk is assumption. A slimy meat is unsafe. Cooking it is not recommended, it will just intensify the weak foul odor.
4) In case of shelf stable goods like canned fish/meat, noodles, instant juice drink – any open products or with leaks should not be bought.
5) Canned sardines, other seafoods, meat or beverage with bulging package is a sign of microbial invasion. Some bacteria can grow without oxygen and produce gaseous by-product. Gas production causes bulging.
6) Look carefully on expiry date. Its a good indication but some bad merchants are tampering it. They extend the product shelf life and sell it at lower cost. Examine it twice or thrice.
7) Invasion of ants, cockroaches and rodents. The last one is very notorious cause it can harbor bacteria responsible for leptospirosis disease.