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Tea Bags

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have to admit that I never really paid any attention to "best if used by" dates for tea. I know I've made tea with past the date on the box but haven't in a good while. Do tea bags go bag?
post #2 of 17
They can get stale. It depends a lot on how the bags are wrapped. If just in paper, the tea isn't very well protected. If in foil wrappers the shelf life will be longer.

I don't believe I've drank any tea made from old bags before, so I can't tell you if it tastes awful.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
They are in the paper bags, it's Lipton.
post #4 of 17
Lipton is cheap... so if they're old I'd just replace them rather then risk drinking something nasty.
post #5 of 17
I don't think so. We never keep them around that long DH drinks coffee in the morning - in the afternoon/evening we have tea. I drink tea all the time.

It may taste a bit "stale' or "dusty" if left too long, but won't hurt to drink it.
post #6 of 17
Here is a bit of information on "Best Before" dates.

I called the Health Department on Thursday about a store across the street from me that has probably 90% of their products on the shelf months after the "Best Before" date.

The Health Department told me that "Best Before" is not an expiry date and that the product does not cease to be edible/consumable as soon as the "Best Before" date has been reached.

The "Best Before" date is simply a guideline that manufacturers put on their packages to let the consumer know when the product is the freshest. It's still edible/consumable after that date, and therefore there is no law that says a store can't sell stuff that is beyond the "Best Before" date.

I frequently have eggs in my fridge that go weeks and months past the "Best Before" date, so I asked about eggs. I was told that eggs can be consumed months after the "Best Before" date provided that you have cooked them well. Cooking eggs well goes for fresh eggs too because raw or partially raw eggs can lead to Salmonella. However, if the egg smells bad, of course you wouldn't want to eat it, but if it looks ok and smells ok, it's fine to eat.

As I mentioned earlier, the Best Before date is simply a guideline that the manufacturer places on the package to let us know when it's the freshest. Months/years after that date it is probably still edible, but it's not the freshest. For example, cookies bought before "Best Before" date will still have it's proper texture IE: crunch or chewy. 8 months after that date they cookies are still edible, but the texture may have changed and won't be as crunch or chewy as they would be if they were fresher.

Tea is simply dried leaves in a bag and therefore do not go "bad", but they can become stale and lose their potency if they aren't kept in an air tight container. But they're still good to use
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. Linda, that is good info, thanks for sharing it.

I'm going to have to make myself a cup or two of tea. This sinus infection is driving me nuts.
post #8 of 17
Oh... and I asked about meats too.

I was told that meats expire when they become rancid, be it before, on or after the Best Before date.

Now of course that is not true if you have left it sitting at room temperature for an extended period of time. Leaving meats out at room temperature leads to the proliferation of bacteria. So even if the Best Before date is days away, if the meat has been left out, toss it! Same goes for eggs that have been left out at room temperature too.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essayons89 View Post
Thanks everyone. Linda, that is good info, thanks for sharing it.

I'm going to have to make myself a cup or two of tea. This sinus infection is driving me nuts.
i've made tea w/old bags before - Lipton. doesn't have a lot of taste, IMO, when it's old. but it won't hurt you!
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I knew that about meats.

It tastes fine to me.

Methinks it's time to go to the doc tomorrow.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essayons89 View Post
I have to admit that I never really paid any attention to "best if used by" dates for tea. I know I've made tea with past the date on the box but haven't in a good while. Do tea bags go bag?
i'd love to help but...

...tea last's about five minute's in my house! i love the stuff!
post #12 of 17
According to the Real Simple list http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple...6079-2,00.html Lipton is good up to two years after opening package. This list has 77 food and non-food expiries. Veddy interesting

Hope your sinuses clear up! That is such a miserable feeling
post #13 of 17
tea's tea, but it has to be the good stuff - that's coming from a true english woman though - you have no idea how much tea I drink!! Go replace the Lipton!
post #14 of 17
Depending on how it is stored. If you are in a moist humid climate the risk of mould or fungal growth on tea is higher. I try to store all of my tea in airtight containers or zip bags. This helps keep it fresh... also the nose can be your best friend in decideing if tea is still good. If it smells musty or has lost some of it's robust scent you might want to toss it.
post #15 of 17
When I worked at a health food distribution company, the "natural" bread we supplied was always out of date by the time it got to a store. That's because it normally took at least a week, sometimes two, to get it from the bakery, into our inventory, on a truck, and to a store. HOWEVER, we froze it to -20 F when it came in the door, and held it below zero until it was delivered to the store. Experts say this is the best way to keep bread fresh.

On the other hand, my home refrigerator was always full of yogurt, because it was almost impossible not to over-order and we didn't ship it if it didn't have a least a week to go on its "Sell by" date.

Have you heard Jerry Seinfeld's "Supermarket" routine? You can hear it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybOIwmcsBqQ

He does delve into the "sell by" date on milk.
post #16 of 17
Tea doesnt last for very long here either, we go through 3 - 4 boxes in about 6 weeks this is just black tea, I too dont like lipton unless it has 2 or 3 tea bags in it

on another note, Travs dad used to work for Tedleys and he told us that tea doesnt go bad, usually if its near expiry date, they will take them out of the box, controll it and then put it in a new one and then resell it.
post #17 of 17
i would say that it just wouldnt be as strong.
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