Science Questions

Is smell a good way to tell if food is safe?

Sun, 25th Sep 2011

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Mark, Bletchley Towers asked:

I tend to smell food on its Ďuse by dateí as I've been known to throw food away before the date especially with poultry. Is smell a good way to tell whether food is safe?


Nick -  It can be, but I think there's another important point there as well.  You can often throw food away before the sell by date Ė just because itís got a date on it, it doesnít necessarily mean itís safe up until that point if hasnít been stored properly.  But yes, smell can be an indicator that the spoilage process is starting, though itís one of several things that you might use.


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