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Expired Food: When Should You Throw Them Away?

A study conducted by Harris Interactive and revealed that over one-third of consumers in the United States have the mistaken belief that certain foods are hazardous to eat when they are kept past their expiration date, according to The Boston Globe.

Common horror stories involving food-borne illnesses have made many people worried about expiration dates -- more than they probably need to be. The Centers for Disease Control found about one out of six Americans have been sick due to such illnesses, but did not have any data that showed how many of those incidents resulted from having eaten food past their "expired" date.

Researchers from the University of Arizona found in a USDA-funded study that U.S. households get rid of 14 percent of their food purchases that are out-of date. But Joe Regenstein, a food science professor at Cornell University, noted that “the dates on food packages are very conservative. If the product was stored properly, it should last well beyond the date on the package.”

So how can people determine what foods should be kept past their expiration dates and which should be immediately thrown away?

Yanni Poulakos from Boston says he’s more willing to toss a less expensive expired item, like $2 chips, sooner than he would something that costs more, like a $12 cheese. Others might leave foods in their freezers for several months to a year and still wonder whether or not they should cook it. There is really no definite answer, although ShelfLifeAdvice offers helpful information regarding expired food.

If you have suffered harm or injury after consuming an expired or hazardous food product, you may want to consider seeking legal counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and determine the possible legal options available to you.

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