Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
We’ve all had food in the fridge a little longer than we should have.
But one guy on TikTok is seeking to prove that there’s no need to bin several items because they’re past their use by date.
The user, named Gavin Wren, went viral recently after filming himself opening up a box of cheese that had been in his fridge since November 2022 and tucking in.
He’s also filmed himself eating a fried egg which is 73 days past its best before date (despite the fact another of the same age had already turned green), eaten some humous that was 17 days out of date, milk that was 41 days out of date and yoghurt that was 31 days out of date.
The videos might sound unappealing to many, but Gavin had an important reason for taking up the challenge.
“I wanted to find a way to help people to reduce food waste,” the TikToker told Insider, adding, rightly, that it was a “massive issue” that everyone needed to do their part to fix.
He noted that in the whole time he’d conducted the experiment, he’d only been ill once, and that was down to an old bag of spinach.
Other than that, everything he’d eaten had caused no sickness at all (although he did warn not to copy all his videos blindly, and to ditch food that is obviously spoiled as its case by case).
How long food can last past its use by date is hotly contested. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) explains that a best before label is “about quality and not safety”, however a use-by date is is more so about “safety” and foods shouldn’t be cooked or frozen beyond this.
Of course, it’s worth noting that foods carry varying levels of risk, with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control Prevention) warning that undercooked meat, fruit and vegetables, raw milk and products made with milk and raw flour and particularly risky.
Gavin has always made clear he isn’t telling anyone else how to live his life (and here at Twisted, we wouldn’t advise taking any risks, either), however, he’s a firm advocate for using your discretion and not throwing anything away until necessary.
He often consults experts about the food he eats, even sending a sample of his out of date humous to a microbiologist before finally accepting it had come to and end.
Would you follow his lead and embrace out of date food? It’s not for everyone, but he’s certainly got a worthy motive.