I buy lunch meat to make sandwiches. There are 4 ingredients to a sandwich: Turkey, American Cheese, White Bread, and Mayo. They carry similar shelf lives before going bad that one must make decisions on. Here’s my current situation after buying items last Wednesday.
Mayo – Best if used by 12/05/23 – I bought this from a local deli months ago so this one isn’t as tricky. It was a pre historic container that has me scooping it out with a knife instead of the upside down bottle you squeeze. There’s still a half a jar left and there’s no way I eat that many sandwiches in ~21 days. It must have been on that shelf for a year because I swear I only got it a few months ago. I will not be using this past the December deadline as nasty mayo has to be just that…nasty.
American Cheese – Sell by 11/9 – I’m the first to admit I don’t know much about cheese shelf life. I expect cheese to last longer than the lunch meat. There are rarely signs it’s bad except for “stinky cheese”. It doesn’t seem to stink after 2 weeks, so, I’m not sure where that leaves me considering most of the other “fresh” food dies faster. Thoughts?
Bread – Sell By 11/9 – I’m 5 days past the sell date and there is no mold on the bread. That is my #1 indicator whether I’ll eat the bread. I don’t believe in the idea that you can cut the mold off. Once it’s there, it’s infected. I guess that’s about 7 days for bread? Maybe longer if you seal it better. I’ve heard about freezing it, but I’m not interested. Moral of the story, will not eat with mold showing.
Turkey – Sell by 11/10 – I’m careful with the turkey. It seems to dry out after a week and then doesn’t taste good. Once again you don’t see terrible signs of it aging, you just feel like it’s going to taste rotten. I try to buy $6 worth of lunch mean which leads to about 2 hearty sandwiches. If I buy $8, that last sandwich will almost always be tossed.
Will You Get Sick?
I have 12 eggs left with a use by date of 11/27. How the fuck am I going to eat 12 jumbo eggs in 13 days? If I’m not on the ball with that, I’m wasting food that can be going to poor children in Ethiopia. Ever hear of Starvin Marvin? I get shipping costs would make sending 6 eggs to Africa prohibitive, but it’s the thought that counts.
My main concern with bad food is not getting ill. I ate one of Wegman’s meals last April and it gave me the shits for 24 hours. Any idea how bad a butthole hurts after 200 wipes? Bad food = bad time. It seems smarter to err on the safe side instead of changing expiration dates. I’ve seen my mom’s pantry and know she doesn’t like to throw out food even if she’ll expire before it does.