Accidentally ate a spoiled product. What to do?

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There are situations when we buy food, put them in the refrigerator and forget that each of them has its own expiration date.

Therefore, various sauces, baked goods, canned food and dairy products may be expired at the time of consumption.

What can the accidental use of an expired product turn into?

Do I need to pay attention only to the expiration date on the packaging?

It is important to know that the indication of the expiration date on the package is an average and fairly general concept.

Often this term refers to the quality of the product rather than its safety.

In other words, some of the products will not harm your health if consumed after the expiration date – they simply lose some of the taste, acquire an unpleasant aftertaste or smell.

Moreover, products that have not expired, but for some reason deteriorated, can also be dangerous. This is especially true for dairy, meat products, salads, sauces.

Often a violation of storage or transportation conditions, damage to the packaging leads to premature deterioration of the product.

Therefore, the first thing you need to pay attention to when assessing the quality of a product is your senses – vision, smell and taste.

Mold, stickiness, unpleasant odor, discoloration, taste and other indicators of food spoilage should be a reason to quit.

In addition, often spoiled foods, in which pathogenic bacteria multiply and toxins accumulate, outwardly do not differ in any way from normal, benign ones. Only laboratory tests can determine the problem.

And the sensitivity, the body’s tolerance of certain products may vary. In any case, there is a simple rule: if the quality of the product is in doubt, it is better to refuse to use it.

This is especially important if the products are intended for the nutrition of children, the elderly, pregnant women, or lactating women.

By the way, manufacturers often reinsure themselves and write the expiration date with a margin. Therefore, a delay of several hours or 1-2 days should not turn into something dangerous if the visually organoleptic properties of the product are not changed.

Let’s discuss five possible effects of consuming expired foods:

No consequences

Most often, the use of products that have expired (just a few days ago) will not cause any harm to a person.

In addition to the unpleasant taste and spoiled mood due to the tasteless dish, there will be no negative effects. But you shouldn’t take advantage of this fact and consume expired products. They can be dangerous, even more so if stored under improper conditions.

Manufacturers give recommended expiration dates, reflecting the peak quality of the product and its safe use. In addition, these deadlines are needed for stores, they are guided by them – when they can sell goods, keep them on display windows.

For deep-frozen products, canned food and cereals, bulk products, a delay for a couple of days is not critical and will not affect health.

If food is stored in the freezer for several months, it may become drier, less tasty and juicy, but it can be eaten without fear for your health.

Tinned food in a jar, if it is free of rust, bulging or dents, can serve for many years. Packaged products – pasta, cookies, cereals, can be eaten after the expiration date, but they will be stale, acquire an unpleasant taste.

Pasteurized products do not cause infections and poisoning, since all flora dies during pasteurization. Therefore, there are recommendations to abandon unpasteurized foods during pregnancy, early childhood and in case of serious illnesses.

If these are dairy products, they can become dangerous due to the fact that they are contaminated with bacteria after pasteurization in violation of the integrity of the packaging, improper storage, cooling. Therefore, before using the products, it is worth evaluating the shelf life, smelling the product and evaluating it externally.

Food poisoning

Food poisoning is in one of the first places as the cause of the onset of fever, pain in the acorn, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Food poisoning is possible with the use of both expired products and those that are quite suitable for the term, but contaminated with pathogenic bacteria or their toxins.

Most often, people are poisoned by perishable foods – these are eggs, meat, moldy vegetables and fruits.

Of course, if the product does not look very fresh, there are signs of spoilage, mold, an unpleasant smell, a rotten or sour taste, this will stop us from eating.

But some bacteria do not spoil the taste and smell, the appearance of food. And often poisoning occurs if raw, undercooked or stored food is consumed, if the temperature regime was not observed, the cook did not wash his hands during cooking, and dirty knives and boards were used.

What bacteria are dangerous

Poisoning can be relatively mild, when symptoms last for several hours, they are not severe and go away without consequences.

However, quite severe, dangerous pathologies caused by some types of bacteria that colonize food are also possible.

Among the most common and dangerous pathogens, we single out – Listeria, Campylobacter, Shigella, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Vibrio cholerae, Staphylococcus aureus. Yeast-like fungi and mold are also dangerous.

The ingress of these bacteria provokes stomach cramps, nausea with bouts of vomiting, fever, diarrhea, dehydration, which leads to impaired consciousness, convulsions and fainting. In difficult situations, the development of hemolytic-uremic syndrome is possible.


What if I ate a spoiled product and noticed symptoms of poisoning?

In this case, it is recommended to take a sorbent and drink plenty of clean water. For example, activated carbon, polysorb or enterosgel.

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