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dem beans, dem beans, dem dry beans (lalala)

bigflangesmallsprocketbigflangesmallsprocket Posts: 2,443
edited January 2008 in The bottom bracket
Time for a spring clean in the kitchen..and Im unearthing an inordinate amount of beans and grains and the like Id forgot I even had! Some of these have use by dates, some dont. Just how important are these? I know when I worked in a cane sugar import/processing plant that if any sugar went out of date they just shoved it back in the mix, those arbitrary dates merely being given to keep the supermarkets happy. Does the same apply for beans/cereals/seeds and the like?

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  • Richrd2205Richrd2205 Posts: 1,267
    Dried beans are unlikely to spoil as long as they're kept dry...
    Grains are a bit more susceptible to humidity & you can get both wee beasties eating them and fungus growing on them, so unlikely to be a risk, but quite possibly a bit manky.
    I'm unaware of anything that could grow on dried beans then survive the preparation process, but then it was about 10 years since I last studied food hygiene.
    "Best before" dates are generally just that and given to low risk products that are, if anything, going to spoil rather than create a risk.
    "Use by" dates are the ones you should watch carefully.
  • Junior Cycologist bought me a bottle of bottle conditioned Fuller's Vintage Ale for Xmas. It bears the legend... "Although we are obliged to state a best before date of 2010 this ale will improve with age for many many years " I reckon I'll leave it for a while yet . There will be something deeply satisfying about drinking it knowing that the best before date expired some years ago. At 8.5 % abv the date will not be the only thing that will be satisfying.
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  • batch78batch78 Posts: 1,320
    If its only a best before date and they look and smell ok give them a go.

    As for the Vintage Ale, what you should do is buy half dozen or so then you can appreciate its flavour, at various times, as it matures over the next few years.
  • kevin44kevin44 Posts: 189
    soak a handful of beans in water and see if they still sprout
  • Thanks for the replies. A couple of those beans I've put into jars and neglected to slap the dates on them, so cant comment on the best before/use by alternatives. You do hear stories of folks finding tins of corned beef or dried milk from the second world war and having a nice meal. Me, Im not quite THAT brave! :wink :lol:

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  • Richrd2205Richrd2205 Posts: 1,267
    bigflangesmallsprocket, they'll have best before dates, not use by. I'd tried to imply this above, but, as normal, I was being obtuse. Sorry.

    Beans have a Aw value of about zero, which mean that almost nothing can grow on them & nothing even faintly dangerous, hence a best before, rather than a use by date.

    Your beans are no bother, I never check the dates on dried beans.

    Cans of meat from 60 years ago are a different story (I'll not bore you with dull stories but...)
  • batch78 wrote:
    I

    As for the Vintage Ale, what you should do is buy half dozen or so then you can appreciate its flavour, at various times, as it matures over the next few years.

    Sounds like a good enough excuse to me !
    Two wheels good,four wheels bad
  • batch78batch78 Posts: 1,320
    Sainsburys and Waitrose both stock it :wink:
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    cycologist - read your personal mail please
  • ricadusricadus Posts: 2,379
    Whoops.


    Anyway, at the risk of turning this thread competitive I was making a curry yesterday and noticed the use by date n the packet of cumin seeds found at the back of the cupboard was... April 1997. Well, Italian food is more my thing.
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