a photo of Prof. Keith Warriner
Prof. Keith Warriner

Is it safe to eat foods after their Best Before dates have passed?

Prof. Keith Warriner, Department of Food Science, spoke to The Globe and Mail about the question amid an ongoing problem of food waste in Canada.

Warriner offered some guidelines on when it’s best to rely on Best Before dates and when we can use our eyes and nose to determine whether our food is still good.

He advised, for example, to watch those dates when dealing with such foods as soft cheeses and deli meats, since they can grow listeria without showing any signs. But condiments and salad dressings are fine long past their best before dates.

Warriner is a microbiologist who researches food safety, food microbiology and pathogens. He has also helped develop food-borne hazards detection and intervention technologies to enhance food safety in meat processing and produce.