Have you ever picked up a bottle of salad dressing or jelly or ketchup at someone’s house only to notice it has expired? What did you do?
Did you blurt out, “this is expired?”
Did you use it anyway, figuring it wouldn’t hurt you? But then, said nothing to your host.
Did you quietly put it down, hoping no one would see, and reach for a different kind, hoping to get a non-expired bottle?
Did you eat it and then tell your host is was expired?
This recently happened to me. Although, I was the hostess who had the expired bottle on my table, not the guest who found it. We recently entertained my sister and her family at our cabin. My husband had cleaned out the cupboards and refrigerator in preparation for their visit. Since we do not live at our cabin as a primary residence, we might have condiments that sit around in the refrigerator for too long. So, steps were taken to clean out these “expired” condiments, salad dressings, and other things like pickles, cream cheese, and the occasional open bottle of wine that was left from a prior visit. We thought he had taken care of our guests finding something expired on the table.
As the scene unfolded the third night of their stay, we had decided upon make your own pizzas and tossed salad for dinner. I had bought a variety of salad dressings so my sister, niece, nephew, and brother-in-law would have a choice of dressing. Bottles of blue cheese – the good chunky kind, Catalina style French, and Panera brand Italian were placed on the table. Well, you know the rest…….before I took a bite, I heard what I had dreaded from my sister’s lips, “Do you know this is expired?”
Somewhat shocked, I stammered, “Oh, no! But, we cleaned everything out and replaced it with new. Really? Which one is expired?”
The bottle of Panera Italian was held up for me to see. “I just bought that,” I exclaimed. But, sure enough, the bottle’s date told us that it was past it’s suggested use, although it was unopened. I went to the refrigerator. There, sat another bottle of Panera Italian dressing. I grabbed that one and looked at it, intently.
I must have brought up a bottle in the past, never used it, and since it was unopened, it was assumed to be non-expired when my husband did his cleaning out of our kitchen supplies. The bottle in the refrigerator was the new bottle, expiration date well into the future!
We all enjoyed our pizza and salads after that. It was a little blip in a great visit. Still, it was a little embarrassing. It made me think about what I would do as the guest. What would you do?