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8 Foods you should never Eat Past the Expiration Date

Update Date: Sep 18, 2014 04:34 PM EDT

The expiration date printed on food products informs consumers when they should ideally throw out something. Despite these dates, we are all guilty of eating something that has expired. In some cases, the food can still be safe to eat. In other situations, however, eating expired foods can increase your risk of illness.

Here are 8 foods you should never eat once they are expired:

1. Mixed and Bagged Greens

Vegetable mixes that come prepackaged in bags or containers should never be eaten past their date. These types of greens are prone to contamination that can lead to bacterial infections.

2. Fresh berries

When you buy fresh berries, it is extremely important that you wash them thoroughly. Berries can carry a parasite known as cyclospora, which can cause watery and, in some cases, explosive diarrhea. Once berries have reached their expiration date or if they start to break down, throw them out.

3. Deli Meat

Deli meat is another produce that should not be eaten past the expiration date. Expired deli meat can be contaminated with listeria, which are bacteria that can thrive in cold temperatures in the fridge. Deli meat should be thrown out even if they do not look or smell bad.

4. Eggs

Consuming eggs past their expiration date can be dangerous. Bacteria tend to build up on eggshells, which can cause an infection. In order to prevent this, you can either throw out expired eggs or boil them.

5. Ground Meat

Meats, in general, are some of the more dangerous foods to consume even before they become expired depending on the sanitation of the slaughterhouse. Once expired, these meats, particularly ground meat, can pose a huge threat to your health.

6. Soft Cheeses

Different kinds of cheeses can last different periods of time. Soft cheeses, particularly those that have been made with unpasteurized milk, can be infected with listeria. These cheeses, such as feta and brie, should not be eaten after they have expired.

7. Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are grown in a warm and moist environment. This environment, unfortunately, is also ideal for certain kinds of bacteria. Since sprouts are often eaten raw, once they have expired, you are better off tossing them in the trash.

8. Raw Chicken

People know that chicken should never be eaten raw. Due to many different kinds of bacteria, chicken has to be cooked thoroughly. However, once chicken has expired, your risk of infection increases even if you cook the chicken through. Using expired raw chicken is not worth the risk.

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