Dr. Lawrence Goodridge
Dr. Lawrence Goodridge

The Toronto Star consulted two U of G food scientists from the Ontario Agricultural College for a piece on the best-before dates consumers find on food products.

Dr. Lawrence Goodridge, told the Star best-before dates concern food quality, not food safety.

“And that does contribute to a lot of food waste,” he added.

There is “little scientific rigour” that goes into determining best-before dates, said Dr. Keith Warriner.

“Best-before dates were a marketing tool introduced in the 50s — in a lot of ways, they’re inaccurate,” he added.

Dr. Keith Warriner in a lab coat
Dr. Keith Warriner

Goodridge and Warriner discussed the shelf life of various food products from dairy milk to cooked and processed meats to fruits and vegetables, offering tips on how to make the most of each item, where to properly store them and what signs of spoilage to look out for.

Goodridge, a professor in the Department of Food Science, applies genomics to the study of food-borne bacteria, viruses, parasites and antibiotic resistance within a One Health context.

He also focuses on educating consumers about food safety.

Warriner is also a professor in the Department of Food Science where he researches food safety, food microbiology and pathogens.