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Do you think use-by dates on labels cause people to toss out food and drinks too soon?

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We have some pie crust almost 3 years old in the freezer,they will make good pies

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Yes, especially for my sister who throws away good food that are just past expiration date. I tend to use food and drinks that are well beyond their expiration date, I just use my nose and tongue to judge whether it is still edible or not. I have used condiments (soy sauce and vinegar) that are about a year expired and they still taste awesome. However, I would never risk eating expired dairy products and seafood. In my experience, they're the most likely to ruin your stomach if they're already past their shelf life.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Yes. For a simple reason: I noticed a lot of Japanese either don't know or don't differentiate between 消費期限 and 賞味期限 (and neither are foreigners, some dictionaries defining them interchangeably certainly doesn't help). And Japanese manufacturers are extremely conservative on the latter, no doubt to ensure a "good experience" with the product. This leads to people blindly throwing out a lot of perfectly edible food, I've seen it first hand.

For 賞味期限, let your senses decide whether it is still good or not.

That being said, I am very much inclined not to play chicken with 消費期限, especially with so much food being prepared on the day, for the day. Most of the year the ambient temperatures and humidity are pretty unforgiving for keeping perishables. And as much as I love raw egg for my sukiyaki (practically unthinkable in any other country), I very much don't want to risk food poisoning or becoming a salmonella petri dish, so I'm especially careful with egg and prepared egg dishes, probably erring even a bit too much on the side of caution.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Maybe.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That is precisely the purpose.

Now here are the facts. In most countries only "perishables" are required to have sell or use by dates.

So items like can fruit, Vegetables, soup, etc... in theory don't expire and it is the companies that arbitrarily put a date.

By doing so the consumer either eats it before or trashes it and buys a new one.

Imported food in Japan is one of the worse offenders.

A can of minestrone soup I bought had a label in Japanese expires October 23 2022. But when removing the sticker, the manufacturer had best by April 2025 which even that is totally abitrary as can soup really would last as long as no air got in.

The New Zealand butter I by always says some date within the year I bought it on the Japanese label, but on the original label it is usually good for 2 years.

If you follow the packaging you will waste a lot of food.

Simple thing is to learn about preserving and knowing signs as to when and what to throw out and what last longer.

These are things my generation was taught but is no longer done as the nanny state became the parents.

I was taught how to check an egg to see if it is still safe ( disclaimer) not 100% foolproof but in combination with the date on the package and when you bought it you can make an educated guess as to how safe it is to use.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The dates are set by the government.

The strict food safety management in Japan divides the expiration date into two kinds: use-by date and best-before. Use-by date means the food is no longer edible after this date, which is usually five days after being produced. Best-before means you can enjoy the best taste of the food before the date stamp.

The main law that governs food quality and integrity in Japan is the Food Sanitation Act ("FSA"). The law that comprehensively governs food labeling regulation is the Food Labeling Act.

It means the prices of food are reduced when coming to the sell-by dates.

We still eat foods past dates, like from our freezer if it's still alright.

Some products need care. Raw eggs, shell foods, port, chicken.

For many, it causes high levels of food waste.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

depends up to food.

if fresh made food as its hot outside its always better to eat it before date of expiration.

in case of frozen food etc we always mark expiration date with pen so it easy to understand what need be eaten first however we dont eat frozen things too much/say ice cream etc/

buy fresh cook at home eat fresh and build your immunity you need during these covid days-its best.no conservatives,fats,emulgators,colouring agents,essences,various chemicals etc-you name it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There’s a good reason for those expiration dates printed on products’ packages. But feel free to take any challenges, especially now in extreme summer heat, you’ll probably ’love’ it, while you still can. And now a few words to those proposals to lower the safety standards and printing expiration dates farther in the future or not at all anymore. What will happen? Exactly, most people lose then trust in them, estimate the real date from their former experiences and throw everything away even days or weeks earlier than it is then printed on the packages. The result, even more food waste and those who abide to the new postponed expiration dates or again add some time, will become more often really sick or at least have stomach aches quite often. Of course I also sometimes decide case by case to use, eat or drink something when the date has a bit expired, but in general I wouldn’t recommend to change the current situation. How’s the saying? Don’t touch a working system.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I go by my nose and how the food looks, if it doesn't look or smell right I toss it, otherwise, I will just consume it. That is what I go by.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I found a jar of tomato sauce in the back of my cupboard that was 16 years past the use by date.Opened it up and it seemed ok. Had it with spaghetti.Anyway to cut a long story short,I spent a week in the hospital, but I’m ok now.

I’m only joking,I wouldn’t touch it.I gave it to my wife and she seemed to be ok.

If it’s in a jar and the seal’s ok, it’ll last forever.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Depends on what it is.

My supermarket puts labels on meats that say "better use today or soon",

and it's reduced price.

The quality is not anything less, at all.

But the warning is usually true, no longer than 2 days.

A cool trick for avocados:

If you take the little nob off the top, and it's green, it's perfect, if brown, put it back.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There’s a good reason for those expiration dates printed on products’ packages. But feel free to take any challenges, especially now in extreme summer heat, you’ll probably ’love’ it, while you still can.

From the USDA website:

Most shelf-stable foods are safe indefinitely. In fact, canned goods will last for years, as long as the can itself is in good condition (no rust, dents, or swelling). Packaged foods (cereal, pasta, cookies) will be safe past the 'best by' date, although they may eventually become stale or develop an off flavor.

From multiple other sources

According to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, manufacturers put “best by” or “best if used by” dates on their products to let retail stores and consumers know how long their products are expected to maintain their best taste and texture.

So when you see an imported can of soup in Japan the expatriation date is a joke usually 1 year from the date of import or manufacturer but peel back the sticker and see the real date usually 2 or 3 years difference and even that is a totally abitrary date.

I am looking right now at a 450g pack of Westgold New Zealand grass-fed unsalted butter

Japanese expiry date 2022-09-04

New Zealand date made 12/11/2021

Best before 12/11/23

More than a full year after the Japanese date.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Antiquesaving

write to your Diet member and complain because complaints here will not change anything.

Buying NZ butter is expensive and not environmentally good when Hokkaido butter is available. More than 9,000 km to NZ. How many kgs of CO2 per packet of NZ butter?

Different food standards but also different weather conditions.

No butter in our house lasts more than about a week or two per packet.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Buying NZ butter is expensive and not environmentally good when Hokkaido butter is available.

Hahaha!

Seriously do you live in Japan?

Or does someone else do your shopping.

Unsalted butter in Japan is nearly twice the price of New Zealand unsalted butter.

Regular salted Hokkaido butter is generally ¥100 to ¥300 more than New Zealand butter, why do you think I buy the New Zealand one. I am not from New Zealand, I buy it because it is cheapest.

At Costco, OK store, Gyomu super, under ¥700, the best closest is Hanamasa's own brand of Hokkaido butter at ¥100 more.

Then we have all the "snowbrand" and others milk and butter scandals.

With the Reused expired milk, yes that is how strict Japan is that since I have been in Japan there have been at least 3 major scandals in the Japanese dairy products companies.

From butter made using expired returned milk, to icecream that only had a tiny percentage of actual dairy when it claimed 100% dairy.

No butter in our house lasts more than about a week or two per packet.

What are you doing to your butter?

I have 2 packs in the firdge been their over 3 months on open 450g one unopen.

Do you leave in on the counter?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It certainly should be there, but I only see it as a cautionary warning. Besides there's always so much buffer considered in determining it that there's no way that it immediately is bad the day after.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How much CO2 is created by importing New Zealand butter compared with buying it from Hokkaido? less than 500 km from Hokkaido and 9,000 km from NZ.

I buy 200gms of Hokkaido butter ¥500.

Used only for morning toast, butter chicken curry, crepes, and cakes. One packet lasts about 7-10 days.

But I never have to think about the use before the date.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Not really, no. I would not want to go back in time to pre-safety regulations. As for the "best by" dates, those are a bit more debateable, but as someone who has tried a few items past date, there is typically a clear change in the quality level of the food.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan's conservative approach to sell-by dates is great if you enjoy discount shopping. I rarely pay more than half price for a loaf of bread and its never even close to stale. On days where there are loads left, I'll buy it up and keep it in the freezer. Same for stuff like gyoza, wieners, etc.

You can get fresh meat really cheaply too, although it is best to cook it straight away. Like the posters above said, use your nose.

The supermarket I go to also has a trolley in the fruit & veg section where fruit that is only very slightly damaged gets discounted (although even discount fruit in Japan is really expensive).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do you think use-by dates on labels cause people to toss out food and drinks too soon?

Yes.

RedstormToday  02:08 pm JST

How much CO2 is created by importing New Zealand butter compared with buying it from Hokkaido? less than 500 km from Hokkaido and 9,000 km from NZ.

Who knows? But I only use butter from New Zealand.

Love it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I buy 200gms of Hokkaido butter ¥500.

That makes over ¥ 1,100 for 450g and I will guess that is salted butter.

Now that is nearly twice the price I pay!

Unlike you I am not Rich.

As for the environment thing, Hokkaido butter you buy is in all likelihood not Grass Fed cows meaning a load of imported feed from USA, Canada, etc ..

So the "local" part is all in the mind and not reality.

Then you have the quality control, Japanese butter is a sad thing especially the most popular brands that used milk by-products instead of actual milk.

It is like Hokkaido cheese read the package and see Styrino or similar ( a cheese "alternative") and cellulose.

Fun fun fun yummy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I only buy unsalted butter. You can buy grass-fed butter from Hokkaido. I buy local foods as much as they are available.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What are Westgold like to work for?

Overall, very disappointing company to work for, you sign up to do tasks in one department area and find yourself doing other tasks for sort staffed other departments, monthly pay, very poor pay rate, shift work, hotbed accommodation, and a very very expensive catering company running the store.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Redstorm

Today 03:26 pm JST

I only buy unsalted butter. You can buy grass-fed butter from Hokkaido. I buy local foods as much as they are available.

Could you please tell us these Hokkaido grass fed butter brands you talk about?

You see, I am from Canada and one thing Hokkaido and Canada have in common in Heavy winter making things like Grass fed not the simplest thing.

Now if you said Kyushu that would be more likely.

Yotsuba is the only one I know that has "all-natural" doesn't actually say grass fed and I think they stopped producing it.

So it would be interesting to know the brands you are talking about!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Redstorm

Today 03:58 pm JST

What are Westgold like to work for?

Overall, very disappointing company to work for, you sign up to do tasks in one department area and find yourself doing other tasks for sort staffed other departments, monthly pay, very poor pay rate, shift work, hotbed accommodation, and a very very expensive catering company running the store

So you are just here to say Japan is better because that is what you seem obsessed with.

You really get upset if anything not positive is said about Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Antiquesaving

Do you have a household of four working adults and concern yourself over the price of butter? The cheapest I could find Westgold butter was about ¥600/250 gms.

But the topic of the article is food labeling.

You are the one posting numerous complaints about your life in Japan but you do nothing about making changes. Moan, moan, moan, and no action.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Westgold butter was about ¥600/250 gms.

Gyomu ¥698

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Westgold butter was about ¥600/250 gms.

Gyomu ¥698 450g.

Costco same, OK same.

Moan, moan, moan, and no action.

And you hate anything that is negative about Japan.

I am not the one that gets upset

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And you hate anything that is negative about Japan.

Not true and I have posted criticisms when important but not about every aspect of our daily lives. You posted so many negative comments about so many topics I wonder why you even live here.

But being a foreigner you constantly compare with your home country. So why not go back there then?

Worse, you make no actions to make changes. Moan, accept, move on.

I have lived here for more than seven decades and I am happy with my life.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I cleared my pandemic stash by eating and drinking it, including tea bags that were more than a year past their BB date, as well as soya milk and crisps that were several months past their date. It was all fine. With bread products, I'll eat it if it is not dry and has nothing growing on it, regardless of the date. If I can't, the birds get it instead of seed. Any bits I cut off veg when preparing it, go in the compost bin. It's extremely rare that I ever throw anything edible away. I buy what I am going to eat.

Most bread products can be frozen, so you just defrost what you want before you eat it. My English Muffins come in packs of four. I freeze them in twos, defrosting them in pairs for two breakfasts.

Most food waste is caused by people buying too much food, so they have a selection to choose from at every meal. Yes, Americans, with your giant fridges, I'm thinking of you, but not just you. Westerners in general waste a lot of food doing this. If your kids are fussy eaters, give them a choice between what you have in and going hungry. Give them a chance to learn that the world does not revolve around them.

Buy what you plan to eat, and eat what you have bought. Don't set up a mini supermarket in your home so your family can have anything they want for any meal. And lay off the snacks and booze, or you will develop the physique of an 80s darts player.

Some people do lack common sense, so advice to throw away food (especially meat products) X days after it has been opened or if it doesn't smell right, may be better than a BB date, and may save some lives. People who have had cancer treatments and others with suppressed immune systems also have to be careful, and are often told not to eat anything past its BB date.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

... is the only one I know that has "all-natural"

what does that even mean? Curse the US FDA and the labelling sleights-of-hand they let Big Food off with, to be aped by shysters around the planet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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