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Old 11-28-2010, 02:32 PM   #1
jcgonczi
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Does cake mix actually go bad?

I have several cake mixes that say Best By Aug 2009. Do they actually go bad? Same thing for flour - if it isn't "buggy" does it actually go bad?
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:37 PM   #2
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"Best by" means that the freshest taste/best result will be if you use it by that date, but it doesn't mean you have to throw it out after that date - it's not actually "bad". But it may not rise as high as a fresh box of cake mix to so you may want to add a little extra baking powder/baking soda.
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:40 PM   #3
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I always pitch anything that has exceeded the "use by" date.

It's not expensive & not worth baking/cooking if it's not going to taste its best. If I take the time to cook something, I want it to taste the best it possibly could.
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:44 PM   #4
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Cake mixes, pancake mixes, brownie mixes, etc. can develop mold spores after time. If some one were to eat it who was allergic to mold/penicillin they could have a bad, possible fatal reaction.
Throw it out. Cake mixes are cheap. It's not worth the risk to save a buck.

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/pancake.asp
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amberjack View Post
Cake mixes, pancake mixes, brownie mixes, etc. can develop mold spores after time. If some one were to eat it who was allergic to mold/penicillin they could have a bad, possible fatal reaction.
Throw it out. Cake mixes are cheap. It's not worth the risk to save a buck.

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/pancake.asp

I was going to post the same thing!! Expiration dates are there for a reason. My MIL seems to think they don't matter either, but then she wonders why her kids were always sick when they were little! It really grosses me out, and I've even had to have my dh tell his mom that if it's expired, to please not feed it to our family. We will buy her a new one if it is that big of a deal. Seriously, it isn't worth it. Cake mixes, etc... are so inexpensive, just go and buy a new one, expecially if you plan on serving it to other people!
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3boymthr View Post
"Best by" means that the freshest taste/best result will be if you use it by that date, but it doesn't mean you have to throw it out after that date - it's not actually "bad". But it may not rise as high as a fresh box of cake mix to so you may want to add a little extra baking powder/baking soda.
Ditto on that. I just add a bit of extra baking powder to it. Yes, maybe it's a small risk, but I'm crazy that way, LOL.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amberjack View Post
Cake mixes, pancake mixes, brownie mixes, etc. can develop mold spores after time. If some one were to eat it who was allergic to mold/penicillin they could have a bad, possible fatal reaction.
Throw it out. Cake mixes are cheap. It's not worth the risk to save a buck.

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/pancake.asp
The very link you quote points out that the incidents of illness were due to mixes that had been opened for awhile prior to use. It goes on to state that packaging that does not allow dampness or exposure to mold spores is safe after the expiration date.

Now, I would not use something that is 5 years old because its unlikely to react properly and the final product will be far less than stellar, but I would not throw out an unopened package of cake mix if its just a few months to a year past date. I also would not use any sort of mix that has been opened that I cannot recall how long ago it was that I had opened it.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:36 PM   #8
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Another point on expiration dates...

Medicines are always safe for a year past date. My cousin is a pharm. rep & said that pharm. companies have to be very careful, so the expiration date is WAY earlier than stated.
So for normal OTC drugs, you are good for a year.
NOW, I would NOT trust this with meds that are crucial..insulin, etc.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:38 PM   #9
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I just saw an episode of The Doctors the other day and they talked to the experts and were told that as long as the package has not been opened then you are fine. The product (cake in this instance) might not rise as much but it will be fine.

If the product (like pancake mix) has been opened and not used in a while you should throw it out because of the potential for mold spores,etc.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amberjack View Post
Cake mixes, pancake mixes, brownie mixes, etc. can develop mold spores after time. If some one were to eat it who was allergic to mold/penicillin they could have a bad, possible fatal reaction.
Throw it out. Cake mixes are cheap. It's not worth the risk to save a buck.

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/pancake.asp
If you read your link, though, it is specifically OPENED mixes that can potentially pose a risk. Since cake mixes are generally single-batch, unlike the pancake mix in that story, that's not likely to be an issue.

The main issue with unopened mixes is that the baking powder used to make the cake rise loses potency over time, and the cake may not come out as fluffy as it would with a fresh mix.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaLori05 View Post
My MIL seems to think they don't matter either, but then she wonders why her kids were always sick when they were little! It really grosses me out, and I've even had to have my dh tell his mom that if it's expired, to please not feed it to our family.
My mother is THE SAME way. I check the dates on just about everything we eat when we are over there. She's been known to have Tostitos chips a year past the posted date. The same with margarine & Cheerios. It grosses me out! And then she wonders why, when the kids & I stop by, that we don't want a snack. I tell her every time that her stuff IS OLD!
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daisyduck123 View Post
My mother is THE SAME way. I check the dates on just about everything we eat when we are over there. She's been known to have Tostitos chips a year past the posted date. The same with margarine & Cheerios. It grosses me out! And then she wonders why, when the kids & I stop by, that we don't want a snack. I tell her every time that her stuff IS OLD!
Oh, yes, this is my MIL to a "T". I've found years-old food at her house, and an open bottle of Scope that had been on the bathroom counter for years (huge bottle with a pump) that I finally looked at and found the date was literally almost a decade ago. I don't eat or drink anything at their house without looking at the package, and DH is now a convert after seeing some of the dates on food she has tried to feed our kids. Thanks, but no thanks.

FWIW, I'll use things a few months past their date if they are unopened. I figure companies have to build in some leeway to assure that nothing untoward has happened by that date, and they're most likely going to err on the side of safety. Thus, I have no problem with unopened cake mix with August 2010 on it, for example, but at some point I do the "is it really worth risking it" thing and toss stuff that just seems too old.

As others have said, opened product is a whole different ball of wax. There, I err on the side of tossing it out when in doubt.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:10 PM   #13
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This is what I would be worried about, that it wouldn't rise much and would be too dense.

I do use items past expiration date if they haven't been opened and don't smell bad (some cereals start to smell and taste bad when they get stale I have noticed.)

Dawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by mum4jenn View Post
I just saw an episode of The Doctors the other day and they talked to the experts and were told that as long as the package has not been opened then you are fine. The product (cake in this instance) might not rise as much but it will be fine.

If the product (like pancake mix) has been opened and not used in a while you should throw it out because of the potential for mold spores,etc.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:29 PM   #14
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Along the lines of outdated food - DS is a Boy Scout and we participate in the annual "Scouting for Food" which benefits local food pantries/food banks. Every year on donation collection day our troop sets up a few tables to go through the bags of donated items to check expiration dates. Anything older than 6 months past expiration date (considered safe by our local pantry) gets pitched before we head to the food pantry. Every year, we have a contest to see who can find the oldest, out-of-date donated food item. This year's winner was a can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup which expired in November........ 1988. Last year's winner was a jar of peanut butter which had been opened and half scooped out from the center of the jar.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:36 PM   #15
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Last year's winner was a jar of peanut butter which had been opened and half scooped out from the center of the jar.[/QUOTE]

That is so nasty that someone actually donated that to the food drive!
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