I had a wee snack last night.
It was just one of those occasions where I fancied a sandwich. It doesn’t happen very often as I am by no means a big eater.
So I checked the fridge and there were a couple of lumps of Cheddar cheese. I like Cheddar, preferably red and maybe quite “mature” like myself. However a cheese sandwich, while it would be filling enough didn’t quite tickle my fancy. I thought of throwing some pickle in with the cheese or maybe even some chutney. But then I realised what I would really like – Marmite!
I like Marmite on a cheese sandwich, so I searched the cupboards and there was a jar. It was nearly empty, but still had enough for a grand smear. I must say it was an enjoyable little snack.
After, I got to wondering how long that jar had been on the shelf. I examined the jar for a sell-by and there it was –
Now the question arises: what exactly did that mean? Was it the 11th of April next year? Was it April the 11th this year, which would put it at eight months out of date? Or maybe it was the most likely – the end of April 2011? The label really wasn’t any help at all. The only way of judging was to wait and see if I had the squits next day. I am happy to say I didn’t.
I don’t trust those “sell-by” things anyway. One of the blocks of cheese had a future sell-by date but was covered in mould. I binned that and used another that had an older date. It was fine. I have more than a sneaking suspicion that they use those dates to fool people into chucking out stuff that is perfectly edible. I have used eggs that were months past their date and never had a problem. I have had to bin milk that was sour long before it was supposed to expire.
Frankly the only time I ever look at the date is when I am buying stuff, particularly stuff that has a very short shelf life, as the later the date, the fresher it is.
The only item that is likely to make me somewhat wary is if the price sticker shows the price in shillings and pence.
I must clean out those cupboards some time.