The shelf life is not the "gold standard" for determining food quality

Properly selected, the temporary food is also very "sweet"

  Our reporter Tang Fang

  In recent years, temporary food has received more and more attention from young people.

On the Douban platform, the "I Love Temporary Food" group has attracted more than 20,000 netizens to join in less than three months since its creation in September this year.

  However, there are many rumors related to impending food on the Internet: eating impending food will affect your health, you must not give your child impending food, and impending food is left behind... whether these claims are true or false ?

The shelf life can be extended if the food does not grow bacteria

  Temporary food refers to food that is close to the shelf life but still within the shelf life. The closer the shelf life is, the cheaper the price of food, usually 20% to 50% of the original price.

How many days before the expiry date of the food, is it a temporary food?

  In 2012, in accordance with the requirements of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, various regions have formulated deadlines for temporary food.

Among them, Beijing divides impending food into six levels of expiration standards. For food with different shelf life, the critical period ranges from 45 days before expiration to 1 day before expiration.

For example, canned food, candy, biscuits and other foods with a shelf life of 1 year or longer have a critical period of 45 days before expiration; for milk, live bacteria milk beverages with a shelf life of less than 15 days, the critical period is 1 to 4 days before expiration. day.

  According to this standard grading, the same as the shelf life, there is a certain period of time.

  "Even if the food is about to reach the expiration date, it does not mean that it cannot be eaten. The date is not the'gold standard' for judging whether the food has spoiled." Ruan Guangfeng, director of the science and technology communication department and nutritionist of the Kexin Food and Nutrition Information Exchange Center, is receiving a reporter from Science and Technology Daily During the interview, it was stated that the shelf life is the commitment period of the food manufacturer to the product quality, which can be understood as the "best consumption period" and "the best consumption before."

However, the shelf life of food does not equal the last usable date of the food.

  "In addition to the shelf life, consumers should also pay attention to the storage and packaging of food. If the food during the shelf life is not stored properly, it may spoil prematurely. If the food is stored properly, it can be eaten even after one or two days of the shelf life, but the taste may change. Discount." Ruan Guangfeng said, for example, nuts and edible oils that are packed in bulk or non-vacuum-packed are rich in fats, even if they are stored at room temperature, they will sometimes have a scent during the shelf life, and they are not suitable for consumption at this time.

  "However, although the pre-period food is within the shelf life, due to the relatively long storage time, special attention should be paid when buying." Ruan Guangfeng suggested that the pre-period food can be examined from two aspects: edible quality and food hygiene quality. .

The eating quality includes the appearance, color, taste, taste, etc. of the food. The food within the shelf life should not have obvious deterioration in the above aspects.

Food hygiene quality is mostly based on microbiological indicators as the criterion. Food within the shelf life should not be corrupted or deteriorated due to microorganisms.

  Popular science writer Yun Wuxin said in an interview with the media that the “deterioration” that causes food safety issues is mostly caused by the reproduction of microorganisms. If the food itself does not breed bacteria, the shelf life of the food can be relatively extended.

  In fact, not all foods have a shelf life.

The “Regulations on Food Labeling Management” issued by the former General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine stipulates that four types of food can be “exempted from labeling the shelf life”. They are alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of 10% or more, vinegar, edible salt, and solid sugar.

It's best not to buy cold chain temporary food

  If the appearance, color, taste, and taste are all normal, is the product quality and nutritional value of the impending food "inferior"?

  "In terms of nutrition, some impending foods may be a little worse, but they are still within a reasonable range and have little effect on the overall nutritional intake." Ruan Guangfeng explained that over time, the effects of environmental factors such as sunlight and oxygen Under the circumstances, the nutrients of all foods including fresh foods and packaged foods will inevitably be consumed. Common nutrients include vitamin C and vitamin B.

Therefore, the state allows the nutrient content of the food package to have an error of plus or minus 20% on the nutrient content table. Therefore, the food during the shelf life is compliant even if its nutrients are reduced by 20%.

  There are many channels for buying temporary food, such as supermarkets, convenience stores, online stores, etc. Where should we buy them?

Ruan Guangfeng also recommends consumers to buy online at large supermarkets.

"Large supermarkets generally have acceptable storage conditions, and the temporary foods they store have few problems in terms of safety and quality. In principle, they can be bought and eaten with confidence." He said.

  Ruan Guangfeng also shared a small coup for buying impending food: pay attention to food attributes.

  “It’s best not to wait until the critical period for cold chain foods such as meat and milk. Because the storage environment is difficult to keep at a low temperature, such foods are prone to spoilage in advance; if the shelf life expires, it is not recommended to eat them again. However, biscuits, instant noodles, etc. are very dry. Foods with high sugar content, such as candies, honey, and sweetened beverages, may not affect the human body even if they are consumed after the expiration date, because microorganisms are difficult to multiply in them.” Ruan Guangfeng said, in addition, consumers should be special Note that it is best to consume the impending foods bought home before the expiration date and store them in strict accordance with the storage requirements.