You don't really need to throw out that food

You might shudder at the thought of drinking milk after its use by date has expired, but experts say unless it’s letting off a pungent smell there’s nothing to worry about.

Head Chef of OzHarvest Travis Harvey says you should be able to eat most foods after they have ‘gone off’ as the use-by-dates and best before dates on many products are precautions rather than stedfast rules.

According to Food Standards Australia, “foods should not be eaten after the use by date and can’t legally be sold after this date because they may pose a health or safety risk.”

However,Travis says people need to understand the difference between ‘best before’ dates and ‘use by’ dates.

“I would use milk if its past the date if it still smells fine,” Mr Harvey told News Corp.

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“I would do the same with yoghurt as well.”

He says there is a “fair bit of leeway” when it comes to items like this and that having a good sniff of the product should be able to tell you if its gone off or not.

While many people would avoid buying or eating anything that had mould on it, Mr Harvey reckons there’s nothing to be worried about.

“I don’t think people know how to choose fruit these days,” Mr Harvey said.

“Just because there’s mould on a strawberry, doesn’t mean you should throw out the whole punnet. Throw out the off one, and thoroughly wash the good ones.”

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For fruit and vegetables, consumers should check mould and cut it off, because a bit of blemish doesn’t mean the whole product is ruined.

“As soon as a piece of fruit or veg has a blemish, we often think to just throw it out. But I tend to trim off the bad bit, and see what it’s like after the mould has been removed.”

With the reports revealing Australian households waste 20 per cent of their weekly shopping food every week, there are calls for people to think more carefully about what they purchase and throw out.

Would you eat something after its best before or use by date? How much food do you throw out every week?