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A Ponder.


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Oh deary me.  I seem to have found an inponderable.

Back in the universe I used to live in, eggs were either OK to eat, or had "gone off".

One could tell the difference quickly and easily by the smell.

Now.. I had some eggs that were beyond their sell by date.

Something made me crack them open and put them in a jug prior to putting them in a pan.

The whites were brown, and the yolks were Mouldy, but there was no smell whatsoever. 

I decided not to eat them. The "use by date" was last December,  yet I was unaware that eggs could go off in this way.  The ones I am currently boiling have a use by date of next month, and seem OK.

Have I been wrong all these years or has something else changed? I'm sure my mother used to keep eggs for months.

Your comments are looked forward to 

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my gran used to store them in some liquid- isopon or something, isinglass that stopped the air getting to the shells which was what made them go bad, this way you could store them for years

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38 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

The whites were brown, and the yolks were Mouldy, but there was no smell whatsoever. 

if you had disturbed the contents of the egg, stirred or agitated, then the smell would have been ram

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I had issues for ages not being able to eat eggs. Whenever I did, I got hideous cramping pain which had me literally doubled over. I love eggs, so had real trouble staying away from them. After many episodes of self-inflicted illness when I chose to ignore previous problems, I eventually found that if I ate free range organic ones, I didn't get ill. Clearly, from that, there's obviously some sort of medication or foodstuff given to non-organic hens which passes through into their eggs which doesn't agree with my body.

I think this is just another example (or egg-sample :default_biggrin:) of how unhealthy our food chain is these days.

38 minutes ago, grendel said:

my gran used to store them in some liquid- isopon or something, isinglass that stopped the air getting to the shells which was what made them go bad, this way you could store them for years

Americans wash their eggs before sale to supposedly make them safer. As a result, they have to be refrigerated constantly including in the shop. Because ours are sold au naturale, they have a coating whch protects against bacteria, allowing them to be kept on the shelf in the shop.

26 minutes ago, grendel said:

mind you we did once find a mummified marrow she had put behind the oven to dry out- maybe 5 years earlier- maybe longer- it was a dry husk

That's just reminded me of clearing out my grandparents house after my nan died. She had an old school cooker with a couple of exposed bolt down power connections on the back. When we pulled it out to disconnect it, we found a rat with each front paw on a terminal. It had obviously died of electric shock, but probably quite a few years earlier judging by its fossilised state.

 

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We get our eggs from two locals or YOKELS  that keep their chicken in a garden environment. Old Parge is very partial to poached .If these drop into boiling water  nothing added they keep a good shape and they are very controllable as to the yoke anywhere between runny or hard.

However not had success with supermarket jobbies crack them into the water and they spread all over and produce white scum that can't be seen through. 

Probably me usually is but I can hide behind a mask of stupidity. 

Kindest Regards Marge and Parge 

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It was my job when I was little staying with my great aunt and uncle to collect the eggs every morning. They didn't live on a farm, but a street in East Ham, London. I would say every other house in the street kept chickens, and some had ducks! Couldn't get fresher than that. 

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Probably a waste of food but I always throw things out by the time they reach their use by date. What's the difference between use by and sell by dates? Also, can anyone tell me how to cook the best soft boiled eggs? My kids love them but I seem to get them too runny or too hard, either way they seem to end up in the bin. Is it three minutes once they start to boil?

I'm wondering if a crash course in cookery will do me any good but my children seem to think not :default_biggrin:

I once burned boiled eggs, the saucepan as well as the eggs had to be binned :facepalm:

Grace x

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49 minutes ago, Gracie said:

What's the difference between use by and sell by dates?

Foods which can cause a problem with food poisoning bacteria are ones which are high in protein, and are moist. Just the right conditions for bacteria to grow and multiply. 
 

So a ready made chicken soup will have a ‘use by’ on it, (high protein and moist), but not a packet of soup mix (high protein but not moist). 
A tin of chicken soup is sterile jndide due to the canning process so won’t contain any acetic anyway (unless the tin is dented and might therefore have a microscopic hole in it, big nough to let bacteria in, but too small to let a liquid drop get out).

‘Use by’ is there for food safety reasons. Could have a build up of bacteria enough to do harm by that date (although I always go a few days over with no problem as the scientists setting the date have to err on the cautious side). 
If you buy stuff in the reduced section that has today’s date as a ‘use by’ it’ll most likely still be fine for s as day or so and it’s certainly fine to freeze it on that day for the normal length of time stuff goes in the freezer for. Just remember when you get it out of the freezer that’ll need eating within a day or so.
 

‘Sell by’ is nothing to do with consumers or food safety. It’s just there as an instructions for shopkeepers. So if I were you, I’d ignore it completely. 
 

The other one that’s being phased out because so many people throw food away when there’s no need to is ‘Best before’. That’s a date after which food might not be at its best regarding taste/texture eg crisps or cereal that might lose their crunch,  a chocolate bar that might go a bit white in colour etc. It has nothing whatsoever to do with food safety as it’s used on foods that are either low in protein, or dry, or both. 

End of lesson! 

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1 hour ago, Gracie said:

Also, can anyone tell me how to cook the best soft boiled eggs?

My method -

Put the eggs in cold water. Heat the water to boiling.
As it starts boiling (when you see the first bigger bubble break the surface, not the tiny ones that form first round the eggs) turn on a timer. 

2 minutes for medium size eggs. 
2 mins 15 secs for large eggs. 

Adjust timing in future according to your preference. 

Take out of the water immediately after that time ofherwise they’ll keep cooking.
Eat asap, with soldiers (i don’t bother with that bit, I just scope out all the yolk onto bread or toast and spread it!). 
 

And Gracie, get a dog. They love eggs that have gone past their best. Raw, straight into their bowl. 

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10 hours ago, MargeandParge said:

However not had success with supermarket jobbies crack them into the water and they spread all over and produce white scum that can't be seen through. 

The difference between ‘supermarket fresh’ and actual fresh!

My allotment veg lasts ages in the fridge, j washed till I use it, even lettuce etc, but the stuff from the supermarket only lasts a day or so before wilting. Makes you wonder just what they do with it as it usually does make it to the shops fairly swiftly after picking (if grown in this country, that is) 

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If veg are not slimy or smelly it gets used, anything in a tin gets used with no bother looking at dates, anything dry gets used whatever date, last night I had a yoghurt with 3/3/24 as a use by date, it was fine.

If an open pack of cold meat is getting close to date and you're not about to use it chuck it in the freezer till you want it.

There is a reason just about every mammal has it's smell organ just above it's mouth and eyes very close by, sod the dates think about the cash going in the bin and how much wine it could buy.

 

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11 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

There is a reason just about every mammal has it's smell organ just above it's mouth and eyes very close by,

I’d disagree a bit there Smoggy. Good poisoning bacteria can build up to levels that’ll cause harm before the food starts to smell or look odd. 
Dogs and other carnivores can eat far more rank stuff than us ‘cos their stomach acids are far stronger than ours which just kill the bacteria. 
 

I eat yoghurts which are so far past their use by date that the lids are bowing upwards. They splatter when you open them!

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Hmm, I can feel a moan coming on here! More and more supermarkets are starting to remove sell by, display until, or best before dates from fruit and veg. I can see why, because a tomato doesn't suddenly become unsafe to sell or unsafe to eat a day past its advertised date. In my local shopping centre there is a Greengrocer's stall and none of the fruit and veg displayed there has a date on it. The guy that runs the stall is a Greengrocer. He knows his onions. It is his trade and he is proud of how fresh his produce is. He personally goes to the markets whilst we are still in bed and chooses fresh produce. He performs stock rotation on his stall and has a small section where he places older stock into bargain £1 bowls to shift stock that supermarket best before dates would have consigned to the bin.  

However, and its the big however, whilst my local supermarket, in this case Sainsburys, is removing sell by dates from fruit and veg, it also about 6 years ago got rid of the Butcher and fresh meat counter, the Fishmonger and fresh fish counter, the deli counter, the bakery and yes also the Greengrocer. The fruit and veg section is now stocked by regular shelf stackers with no idea of how to tell fresh from old fruit and veg. They simply open a new tray of onions and chuck them on top of the few that were left in the old tray. No idea of stock rotation etc. I no longer buy garlic from Sainsburys, having a 50 / 50 chance of it being old or mouldy. Similar with onions etc.

Quite simply supermarkets need to bring back the trained Greengrocer (and ideally the butcher and baker) or bring back sell by dates to guide the untrained shelf stackers!

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7 hours ago, Smoggy said:

If veg are not slimy or smelly it gets used, anything in a tin gets used with no bother looking at dates, anything dry gets used whatever date, last night I had a yoghurt with 3/3/24 as a use by date, it was fine.

If an open pack of cold meat is getting close to date and you're not about to use it chuck it in the freezer till you want it.

There is a reason just about every mammal has it's smell organ just above it's mouth and eyes very close by, sod the dates think about the cash going in the bin and how much wine it could buy.

 

Only reference to the last chapter but I thought it was because they were situated as far from the exhaust as practically possible 

Kindest Regards Marge and Parge 

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another thing my Gran did was to put tin cans into a metal biscuit box (the old fashioned ones a foot cube) and bury them in the garden, when we went visiting she would dig up one of  these tins and we would have a meal of pot luck, as invariably the labels had disintegrated so we would get corned beef (easily recognisable tin) from goodness knows what date (maybe even as far back as the war) with peaches instead of peas. 

maybe it was her way of discouraging visitors to call round for a meal (it worked).

or you would all go shopping which was when she inevitably found she had left her purse at home.

she was however a very fun grandma with a wicked sense of humour.

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9 hours ago, kpnut said:

 

 

And Gracie, get a dog. They love eggs that have gone past their best. Raw, straight into their bowl. 

This made me smile Kate. Vera loves an egg yolk dropped into her dog bowl. Mind you she likes anything dropped into her bowl. 

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1 hour ago, grendel said:

another thing my Gran did was to put tin cans into a metal biscuit box (the old fashioned ones a foot cube) and bury them in the garden, when we went visiting she would dig up one of  these tins and we would have a meal of pot luck, as invariably the labels had disintegrated so we would get corned beef (easily recognisable tin) from goodness knows what date (maybe even as far back as the war) with peaches instead of peas.

I grew up in a Victorian house in Wroxham, originally built for a fairly wealthy member of the local community. Obviously having no refuse collections in those days, all the waste from the house, as well as carcasses of pigs and horses got buried in the back garden.

I went through a bit of a wannabe archaeologist phase and used to spend hours digging trenches looking for stuff. Amongst the finds, there were tomatoes and plums preserved in Kilner style jars. At the time they were probably something like 70-80 years old. We never dared try any of them, but they looked as good as the day they were first picked.

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1 hour ago, grendel said:

another thing my Gran did was to put tin cans into a metal biscuit box (the old fashioned ones a foot cube) and bury them in the garden, when we went visiting she would dig up one of  these tins and we would have a meal of pot luck, as invariably the labels had disintegrated so we would get corned beef (easily recognisable tin) from goodness knows what date (maybe even as far back as the war) with peaches instead of peas. 

maybe it was her way of discouraging visitors to call round for a meal (it worked).

or you would all go shopping which was when she inevitably found she had left her purse at home.

she was however a very fun grandma with a wicked sense of humour.

 

1 hour ago, grendel said:

another thing my Gran did was to put tin cans into a metal biscuit box (the old fashioned ones a foot cube) and bury them in the garden, when we went visiting she would dig up one of  these tins and we would have a meal of pot luck, as invariably the labels had disintegrated so we would get corned beef (easily recognisable tin) from goodness knows what date (maybe even as far back as the war) with peaches instead of peas. 

maybe it was her way of discouraging visitors to call round for a meal (it worked).

or you would all go shopping which was when she inevitably found she had left her purse at home.

she was however a very fun grandma with a wicked sense of humour.

Not sure I would have wanted to eat at 'hers' but liked her style of shopping!

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