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Wed May 6, 2020, 05:00 PM

Question about a long expired product

Digging through my pantry I found a pack of Betty Crocker Roasted Garlic instant Mashed Potatoes. Since I seldom use them and never buy them - my husband picks them up sometimes - they are long expired. The date on box (it was a two pack and I must have used one in the distant past) is 21Sep2010.

I need some mashed potatoes to make a fisherman's pie and while I have two other (also expired, but only last year) packs, this is the oldest. Sooooooo, what are the chance they are still good? The pack is still well sealed, no tears or breaks, the contents still feel flaky.

The contents are potatoes, salt, sugar, garlic, and a nice assortment of chemical names. What could go bad? What should I watch for? Should I even take a chance?

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Question about a long expired product (Original post)
csziggy May 2020 OP
brewens May 2020 #1
csziggy May 2020 #5
rampartc May 2020 #6
csziggy May 2020 #9
sarge43 May 2020 #11
virgogal May 2020 #2
PoliticAverse May 2020 #3
marble falls May 2020 #4
csziggy May 2020 #7
jimfields33 May 2020 #13
csziggy May 2020 #19
jimfields33 May 2020 #20
csziggy May 2020 #21
WVGal1963 May 2020 #8
csziggy May 2020 #10
fierywoman May 2020 #12
csziggy May 2020 #18
hlthe2b May 2020 #14
csziggy May 2020 #17
Kali May 2020 #15
csziggy May 2020 #16

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2020, 05:03 PM

1. Open it and smell it. It it smell like it should, it should be okay. I would think it would have a

definite stale odor if it was bad. I know expired potato chips do if they are old enough.

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Response to brewens (Reply #1)

Wed May 6, 2020, 05:07 PM

5. Yeah, I think it if smells off, I won't use it

But if it smells like garlic potatoes should, I will. I do have those other two packs of expired mashed potato mix that need to be use, after all.

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Response to brewens (Reply #1)

Wed May 6, 2020, 05:07 PM

6. smell test, visual test

if it looks and smells like the others it us probably ok

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Response to rampartc (Reply #6)

Wed May 6, 2020, 05:12 PM

9. But I won't be opening the other packs - I just need enough mashed potatoes to cover the top

That is one reason I don't really mind having the instant mashed around, they make a small amount that doing from fresh would be a hassle. And I can't keep fresh potatoes around, in our Florida environment, they sprout quickly.

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Response to brewens (Reply #1)

Wed May 6, 2020, 05:20 PM

11. The nose knows. n/t

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2020, 05:03 PM

2. I'd toss it,the one year ones I would use.

 

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2020, 05:05 PM

3. If you view the several youtube channels of people consuming long-expired products

like this you'll find that the product is safe (as long as the package is intact) although the flavor/quality of the resulting product may deviate from ideal.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2020, 05:06 PM

4. You had me until "and a nice assortment of chemical names". Dump it. Boil some spuds.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #4)

Wed May 6, 2020, 05:10 PM

7. I don't keep fresh potatoes around - make that can't keep them

They always sprout after a few days. So for times like this when I'm not going to the store, the instant mashed are helpful for a dish like this where the mashed potatoes are just a way to hold the cheddar cheese on the top of the casserole.

If I were going to store today, I might have picked up some potatoes and made fresh mashed - but I don't particularly like mashed potatoes and hate wasting fresh potatoes on them.

I'll open the pack and smell it - if it's the least bit off smelling I'll use one of the more recently expired packages.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #7)

Wed May 6, 2020, 06:11 PM

13. Make them separate and taste them to see if good then add to dish

Is that possible and still have the final product the same?

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #13)

Wed May 6, 2020, 07:45 PM

19. Yes, the potatoes go on top, like a shepherd's pie

I opened the really old pack and it smelled really bad. Of course, I had to do the, "Here, smell this, does it smell bad to you?" with my husband but he knows better than to fall for that. Smart man, trusts my nose. So it went into trash (well, the contents went into the organics bin and the package went in the trash).

A newer pack is now mixed with cheddar cheese and on top of my fisherman's pie in the oven.

I'm using up leftovers: parmesan and cottage cheese left from a pseudo lasagna, one lone but very large salmon filet, eggs, left over chopped onions, garlic, carrots, cheddar cheese and these old mashed potatoes. I hope it's good - it smells great!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #19)

Wed May 6, 2020, 08:12 PM

20. Sounds wonderful

Your hubby is a lucky guy.

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #20)

Wed May 6, 2020, 08:29 PM

21. It turned out great! And was a good way to stretch the salmon

The entire pie is at least six servings so that was a great way to make the most of a big fillet. I'll put the recipe in a new thread.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2020, 05:11 PM

8. Shelf Life

I own a retail store and we sell a lot of specialty and gourmet food items so I have had to learn a lot over the years about shelf life. There’s so must confusion (.......and I count myself among the confused......) regarding Best By/Sell By/Use By. I still don’t quite understand it all.

But one thing I did learn about “dry” ingredient products came from one of my sales reps. Among other items, I stock some specialty pancake and waffle mixes from one of his lines. He told me that if any “dry” products includes any kind of “malt” or “malt extract”, it should never be consumed past the Use By date because it can make one very sick. I remember doing some further research about that and decided to always just toss any “dry” products that I sell. This includes bread mixes, dip mixes, etc. I think someone even told me that malt and malt extracts are often in spice blends. I don’t have any idea what the chemical term(s) might be for malt related ingredients or additives.

So - - I am certainly no expert!! But that’s my experience. Maybe someone knows more? My instinct would be to toss it, even the more recently expired one just in case.

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Response to WVGal1963 (Reply #8)

Wed May 6, 2020, 05:16 PM

10. I know the oils and fats in mixes can go rancid and be horrible

I had a very bad experience with Bisquik a lot of years ago. I didn't realize that "malt" could do that - and this does have maltodextrin as the fourth ingredient, with soybean oil way down the list.

I'll have one of the other packs out just in case.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2020, 06:05 PM

12. Toss it. Substitute with pasta or rice or some grain.

When I lived in Mexico City, I had several stomach infections. I got to the place with dubious food with the thought: What would cost me more, the price I paid for the dubious food or a few visits to the gastro specialist? The price o f the doc ALWAYS won.

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Response to fierywoman (Reply #12)

Wed May 6, 2020, 07:39 PM

18. Pasta was what we had the last few nights in a casserole

And I don't have much rice and am trying to stretch it.

I like to change out what we're having so potatoes sounded like a good choice. I threw out the really old package - it smelled really off when I opened it. The only one year past sell date smelled fine and tasted good when mixed up so it is on my pie in the oven now.

In fact, I bet I need to throw out the container of quinoa that is about five years old...

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2020, 06:29 PM

14. If it has a lot of chemical names, I'd say it is at least as "preserved" as the 20 yo twinkies

about which much is written. If you are going to cook it anyway, it has been vacuum-sealed the whole time, and looks/smells fine when you open it, I'd say not to worry. At worse, it might not taste so fresh, I suppose, but I doubt one could tell in that dish.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #14)

Wed May 6, 2020, 07:36 PM

17. Either the garlic in it had gone bad or the oils turned rancid

It smelled terrible when opened. So I tossed the old ones and used a newer package, which smelled and tasted fine. It's in the oven now - if my version of a fisherman's pie turns out, I will put the recipe in the forum!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2020, 06:35 PM

15. I don't know when, but sometime in the last few years (decade?)

instant mashed potatoes became more or less edible. previously they were not. perhaps your newer ones are such and possibly your older package is the former. now, me? I don't do instant starches but I do do expired products. I trust my judgement, not some arbitrary sale date primarily designed to instill fear and food wastage. but I also have a strong stomach. whether that is a chicken/egg first situation, I am not sure. but I rarely look at dates on packages and use my nose instead.

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Response to Kali (Reply #15)

Wed May 6, 2020, 07:34 PM

16. When opened the ten year old package smelled horrible so I tossed it

The merely year past sell date smelled fine so it is now in the oven topping my fisherman's pie.

I pretty much expect sell by dates to be the last day they can be sold at the grocer's, then have a life expectancy past that, depending on the product. For something like these potatoes, a year past is not too bad, in my opinion - they sure smelled fresh and the mixed up potatoes tasted fine when I licked the spoon, even better when I stirred in a good quantity of extra sharp cheddar cheese.

I only check the dates if I have more than one package in the pantry - or, as with these, I can't remember when they were bought and they've been in there a while. I think my husband bought these not long after we built the house. Since I think most mashed potatoes are only good to be used as spackle, they've been sitting there all these years.

Someday I'll tell the story of mashed potatoes and m tonsils.

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