Can eating expired food actually make you sick?

When Should You Throw Out The Food In Your Fridge & Pantry?
When Should You Throw Out The Food In Your Fridge & Pantry?

Most people have expired food lurking in their pantry or fridge. But they might wonder whether eating it will just taste bad, or whether it could actually make them sick. TV host and food writer Ted Allen is going through one couple's kitchen and explaining what might be okay, and what needs to go. Then, he's sharing four tips on how to evaluate your food's freshness, and also keep it fresh longer.

Tip 1: Test Your Baking Soda for Freshness

Ted explains that your baked goods won't be as fluffy if your baking soda is out of date. But how do you know if it is still potent? Ted shows you a simple trick. Just add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of water, then add a tablespoon of baking soda. If it bubbles and fizzes, your baking soda is still good. If there is very little reaction, it's probably losts its potency and you should replace.

Tip 2: Keep Your Ice Cream Fresh

If your ice cream tends to sit in your freezer awhile and develop freezer burn, Ted has two different solutions for you! First, you can just slice your round ice cream container as the level of ice cream goes down, so that the top will be flush with the ice cream. The second option is to just press a piece of plastic wrap onto the top of the ice cream, then put the lid on.

Tip 3: Make Your Sour Cream and Cottage Cheese Last Longer

If you buy a big tub of sour cream or cottage cheese and it takes you awhile to eat it, Ted suggests putting it in progressively smaller containers. Not only will it free up space in your fridge, it will keep the product fresh by reducing its exposure to air.

Tip 4: Drink Your Beer by the Expiration Date

Ted explains that beer is delicate and its quality degrades over time. He recommends being sure to drink your beer by the expiration date to maximize flavor.

Do you eat expired food? Tell us below.

Ted Allen Reveals the 4 Secret Weapons Every Foodie Needs to Know
Ted Allen's Killer Chili

Originally published