Dairy Latam - The effects of eating expired food

Symptoms of eating expired food range from an upset stomach to food poisoning, even foodborne illness.

While the health effects can be quite frightening, it all depends on when it expired and when it was eaten. For example, if you eat yogurt more than a day after its expiration, you shouldn't feel serious consequences. On the other hand, consumption of expired or raw meat can lead to a fatal disease called Listeria.

Expired eggs are one of the most common causes of foodborne illness. Eggs are packed with nutrients and are a great source of protein. However, once they expire they can cause diarrhea, nausea, gas, and depending on how long they've been expired, food poisoning. In the United States, egg packers are only required to print the date the eggs are placed on the carton. But not everyone knows what the expiration date is.

Eggs are supposedly good to eat for up to four weeks after purchase. Experts suggest using the float method to determine if your egg is good to eat or not. Once you have filled a container with water, just drop the egg and if it floats to the top it is no longer good to consume.

"The FDA does not require that food companies place "expiry by", "best before" or "best before" labels on food products. This information is entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer." Said The Food and Drug Administration on its website.

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Another highly dangerous food to eat beyond its expiration date is meat. If it is cold meats, red meats, or poultry, if they are expired they can contain infectious diseases. It is recommended to eat cold cuts up to three days after purchase. Under no circumstances should cold cuts be consumed more than a week after purchase.

The positive side of red meat and poultry is that they take a little longer to expire and are generally good to eat if preserved and stored correctly. If you are not careful with the meat and don't put it in the cold then it can start to decompose by bacteria and fungi, so you have to be very careful as humans can contract numerous diseases from rotten meat, such as salmonella, epidermidis and E. coli.

One of the most common symptoms of expired food is food poisoning. Common symptoms of food poisoning are cramps in the stomach area, vomiting, dehydration, fever, and diarrhea. Depending on what they ate, symptoms can last anywhere from a day to a few weeks. Due to the severe dehydration that food poisoning can cause, it is crucial that you seek medical help as soon as possible.

One way you can tell if your food has expired is by its appearance. Once food begins to go bad, mold can begin to grow. One type of fungal contaminant is mycotoxin. Mycotoxins can grow in most fruits like grapes, apples, and vegetables, and even some nuts. Side effects of consuming moldy foods are severe dizziness, nausea, and rarely headaches. The problem with expired food is that it is no longer as fresh and has likely lost most of its nutritional value. If you eat spoiled food then you are not going to get most of its nutrients. The more time passes, the worse the quality of the food.

It's important for us to start paying attention to those little labels that are on our food products. They can help us avoid physical discomfort and unpleasant tasting. It is better to throw away expired products than to make the effort to eat them.

By Victoria Weller

FDA aerobic bacteria E. coliListeriafood poisoningVictoria WelerfooddiseasesEggs expiration