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FQM - John C. Kirk

Sep. 24th, 2007

09:35 pm - FQM

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Back in my scouting days, I was FQM (Food Quartermaster) for our patrol, which involved keeping track of our supplies when we were on camp. Following that tradition, I've been delving through my cupboards and trying to work out what's safe to eat. My general theory is that "best before" is a guideline whereas "use by" is a rule. On the other hand, I assume that "best before" does have certain limits. (Bear in mind that I can't do a sniff test to tell whether things have gone off.) So, what do the rest of you think about these various items?

Poll #1060531 Safe to eat on 24th September 2007

Marmite - best before July 2006

Yes
7(77.8%)
No
2(22.2%)

Squeezy Marmite - best before April 2007

Yes
8(88.9%)
No
1(11.1%)

Ready to mix flapjacks (with Lyle's Golden Syrup) - best before April 2007

Yes
7(87.5%)
No
1(12.5%)

Macaroni - best before April 2007

Yes
7(87.5%)
No
1(12.5%)

Fast action dried yeast (for breadmaker) - best before May 2007

Yes
6(75.0%)
No
2(25.0%)

Philadelphia cream cheese - best before 20th September 2007

Yes
7(77.8%)
No
2(22.2%)


I brought the Squeezy Marmite back home after my holiday to Cornwall last year, but I wanted to finish up the old jar first (nearly there!), which is why they're both past their dates. (A bit like the latest Nemi strip, from September 21.) The non-squeezy Marmite still tastes ok, so I assume the other one will be ok too. I've replaced the yeast, macaroni, and cheese. I'm not sure about the flapjack mix, mainly because I haven't tried it out yet.

I suppose the moral of this story is that I should take inventory more frequently. Still, I think I'm ok as long none of the food is older than I am.

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Comments:

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From:pozorvlak
Date:September 24th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
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I'd be surprised if most of those things went off ever - Marmite, for instance, is almost certainly too salty for anything to live in it. The flapjacks might conceivably have gone mouldy, but flapjack mix is basically porridge and porridge doesn't go off if kept dry, as I understand it. The yeast may not work, in which case you'll get a flat loaf and have to replace it - it won't kill you. The Philadelphia should probably be eaten quickly, but if you haven't opened it it's probably still OK. Incidentally, I reckon that you shouldn't eat supermarket Brie or Camembert until at least a week after the "Best Before" date - they sell them ridiculously young, and the flavour needs more time to develop. Of course, you should really buy your cheese at vast cost from a wizened geriatric cheesemaker who's been in the business for four generations and/or a ruddy-cheeked yokel in a traditional smock at an organic farmers' market and blah blah blah.
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[User Picture]
From:karne_k
Date:September 25th, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
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>Marmite, for instance, is almost certainly too salty for anything to live in

I suspect the average halophile rather likes Marmite :)

Here's wondering if anyone has actually tried growing them in it..
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[User Picture]
From:elvum
Date:September 25th, 2007 08:07 am (UTC)
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If it hasn't got mould on, I'd be fine eating any of those things. I can think of a reason why you'd want to be more cautious than most people though. With the yeast, I think the biggest danger is that it's all died terminally and won't raise things any more.
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[User Picture]
From:aca
Date:September 25th, 2007 08:42 am (UTC)
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... but then I am a little cavalier towards such things. :)
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[User Picture]
From:terpsichore1980
Date:September 25th, 2007 12:03 pm (UTC)
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It all seems ok to me as long as nothing seems to be growing in it. That said, I am not sure I would consider flapjack mix to be edible at any time... Proper, home made flapjacks are so lovely and tasty, and I am sure one of us could teach you to make them very easily.

As several other people have already said, the yeast probably won't make anything rise at this point and you should probably eat the philadelphia within the next couple of days. Philadephia type cheese seems to acquire a lot of water in the tub apparently from thin air shortly before it goes off (although that might just be my fridge), if that is any help.
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