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Still Tasty — Food Safety for Finicky Parents

I pulled a container of cottage cheese out of the fridge, looked at the date, and reached for the trash can.

“Wait!  Why are you throwing that away?” said my husband.

“It’s expired.”

“It expired yesterday,” he said.  “It’s not like it magically goes bad at midnight.”  Then he sat down and polished it off.

I’ll admit that I’m a nut about food safety, and it’s gotten worse since I had kids.  Logically, I understand that most expiration dates are a “sell by” or “best by” recommendation, not a deadline that can’t ever be crossed.  But I’ve also had food poisoning, and it’s not an experience I ever want to put myself or my kids through.  So I live by the motto “When in doubt, throw it out.”  (Or at least throw it to my iron-stomached husband.)

But as concerned as I am about food safety, I also care about food waste.  Throwing away food is bad for our food budget and for the environment.  So when I came across Still Tasty, I was thrilled.  Not only do I now know that if it takes my kids six months to finish off a jar of strawberry jam, that’s okay, I’ve also a tool for convincing my guy not to eat those questionable leftovers.

Still Tasty also convinced me that the small deep freeze we invested in last year was a good choice.  Many frozen foods are still fine to eat a year after their put in the freezer (most experts say three months), but that’s just for quality says Still Tasty.  A properly frozen food is safe to eat almost indefinitely.  So all the garlic pesto I made last summer, froze, and forgot about?  It’s dinner!

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