How To Tell When Food Has Gone Bad

Just as you'll see in this article, it's very easy to tell when food has gone bad. In just a few seconds, you'll be able to determine if it's spoiled, and save yourself from possible health issues in the process.
How To Tell When Food Has Gone Bad

Last update: 20 January, 2019

Eating food that’s gone bad could be very harmful to your health. That’s why it’s important to learn the signs that indicate a piece of food isn’t safe to consume. In this article, we’ll advise you how to know when it’s best to throw food away. You’ll also learn the consequences of eating food that’s gone bad.

Check the expiration date

The first thing you should always do before eating something is to check the expiration date. If the date you see on the package has already come and gone, the best thing to do is to throw it out.

If it’s only been a few days since the food expired, it probably still looks normal. We recommend that you don’t always trust what you see. Not only has it probably lost some of its beneficial properties, but it can make you sick. This can even be true if it looks good enough to eat.

An expiration date on a can of food.

Up until this point, everything looks clear and easy. A big problem, though, is that not all food comes with expiration dates. For example, what if we’re talking about a fresh product from a food stand? In that case, you can use other techniques to discover whether or not you might be harming your body by eating it.

Also, you should know that just because an expiry date on a package is in the future doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to be good to eat. There are other factors you have to consider. Some of these are the temperature where you store the food, the damage it may have (cracks or bruises), and the manner in which the food was frozen. All of these factors can make food go bad before its stated expiration date.

Next, we’ll explain how to tell whether food is in bad shape. Pay attention to the signs here to protect yourself from the consequences of eating bad food.

How to tell when dairy has gone bad?

Dairy products are some of the most delicate with regard to storage. They go bad easily if you don’t store them appropriately. That’s why it’s important to check whether they’re safe to eat especially if you have any doubts. Now we’re going to tell you just how to do that.

  • Cheese: one of the easiest foods to check for edibility. When it’s gone bad, it’ll have a layer of mold covering its surface. If the layer is thin and only on the surface, you can just remove it and eat the rest of the product.
  • Milk: when milk has gone bad, it has a very strong smell and a sour taste. Just having a sniff is enough to tell whether it’s safe to eat.
A woman pouring milk into a glass.

Sausages and other previously cooked foods

We often cook more food than we can eat at one meal so that we don’t have to spend as much time in the kitchen on the following days. In this case, you might leave the leftovers in a plastic container in the fridge? We recommend that you follow the approach below if you plan to eat it within a few days:

If you want to eat it later than a few days time, it’s best to freeze it. Food will retain its qualities for much longer if you keep it in the freezer. The only issue here is that you shouldn’t freeze it again after it’s already been frozen.

With regard to sausages, you should always keep these in the refrigerator. Once you open them, throw the packaging away and put them in a sealed plastic container. Alternatively, you can wrap them in foil paper or transparent wrap. If you want to determine whether they’re still good to eat, just touch them. If they have a sticky film on them, you shouldn’t eat them.

What might happen if I eat something that’s gone bad?

There are diverse consequences if you eat something that’s gone bad. It depends on the level of spoilage of the food and the amount you ate. Another point you need to keep in mind is that not all food that’s gone bad is equally as bad for your body.

The package is the first place to check whether a food has gone bad.

The least serious consequence of eating bad food is that you’ll experience a brief episode of gastroenteritis or vomiting. It’s also possible that you may suffer an allergic reaction or even a foodborne illness. In the most severe cases, eating expired food could even result in death.

We’re not trying to scare anyone with this information. We are simply trying to make you realize the importance of spending a few seconds checking your food. Make sure that it’s not expired or spoiled. As you can see, it doesn’t take much effort. In fact, if you do it often enough, you’ll soon end up making it a part of your routine and you won’t even think about it.

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The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.