You found one of Welch’s fruit snacks in your pantry, but you are not sure if they are safe to eat. Well, we are all familiar with these kinds of dilemmas, so I have done some research on this topic and am glad to share this information with you guys.
According to Welch’s official website, the shelf life of all Welch’s fruit snacks is one year after the date of manufacture.
On the other hand, opened packages can significantly lose their texture and flavor within a few days; therefore, it is advised to either consume them all right away or put them in the refrigerator.
How do I read the expiration date on Welch’s fruit snacks?
Interestingly, Welch’s fruit has both the expiration date and best-before date written side by side at the top of the packing box.
You may encounter some type of code with numbers and letters as in the picture above. That is the expiration date. For example, lets take this code PN22A05241 the PN stands for the location where the snack is manufactured.
The number 22 stands for the year 2022. The letter ”A” stand for the first month of the year, which is January. If it was “B” or “C” it would have represented February and March, respectively.
The next number 05, is the exact date of the expiration, which is barely significant in this case. 24 stands for the packaging line, and 1 stands for the shift. The “best before” date (written next to the expiration date) is simple, and it can be read as usual.
Is it safe to eat after the expiration date?
I used to be really concerned about food expiration dates. Before the “Use By” date, I would freeze canned goods, and if the “Best If Used By” date on my milk was yesterday, I would discard it. However, I discovered after looking into the various “expiration” labels that food actually lasts longer than I had previously believed.
The United States Department of Agriculture states that food quality, not food safety, is the focus of expiration dates. Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, canned foods, and boxed foods are not required by federal laws to have expiration dates; infant formula is the only item that must have an expiration date.
When considering the expiration date of fruit snacks, it’s important to pay attention to the listed date and store them properly. The expiration helps determine the freshness and quality of the snacks over time. Similarly, understanding the shelf life of other treats like waffles, Skittles, Froot Loops, and lollipops provides useful information about expiration dates of various foods. Checking dates is key for food safety and ensuring snacks are at their best before being consumed.
They are included to serve as a resource for consumers and stores. The top three labels are shown below.
Best Before/ If Used by:– This date denotes the period of time when a product will be at its best. After that time, it will still be safe to eat, but the flavor and texture quality will start to deteriorate. This is most likely found on shelf-stable products including sauces, dry foods, and canned goods. Welch’s fruit snacks aren’t exceptions.
Use By – This expiration date is typically labeled on delicate foods like meat. Although it’s still Fine to use the product after the expiration date, don’t wait too much.
sell-by date:-Sellers should remove the goods off the shelf by this date. Sales are one method that grocery retailers use to try to get older stock into customers’ hands, and they typically work rather well. This is most likely on refrigerated goods since the retailer wants to remove them from the shelves before they go bad. Since most boxed snacks aren’t supposed to be found in refrigerators this might not be an issue here.
“Use by” dates are a great guide for people like you and me, but it comes at a price. according to A USDA report, Americans waste about 30% of food every year. The fact that we waste perfectly tasty food away because we excessively check expiration dates is a contributing factor. Bummer right?
So there is no harm if you want to eat a piece of Unopened Welch’s fruit snacks which pass the best before just make sure it isn’t too far from the date.
When should you discard them?
Snacks that have gone bad can easily be identified by sight, smell, and touch. Look for one or more of these warning signs of rotting in your snacks.
The smell: As we surely know, all flavors of Welch’s fruit have their natural fresh, and pleasant smell. While you shouldn’t rely on the food sniff test alone, if the gummy bears in the newly opened bag is giving off a foul odor, it’s safe to assume it is no longer good. When you smell something rancid, you know something has gone bad. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will be sick if you give it a shot, but unless you are starving to death, there are better options.
Texture and taste: A fresh Welch’s fruit snack has a soft and smooth surface to touch and easily are chewable in the mouth, Although some flavors are bit stronger than others generally speaking if they start getting harder to chew this might be a sign of spoilage. They may also start to crumble or melt easily as they get older. Still, you might not have serious health problems but it is generally not adivsable to eat or store it any longer.
If there is a thin white film coating the gummy bears, you should be more cautious! If there is a cloudy coating that makes them less transparent, it is a sign that the snack is getting bad, so you ought to dump them soon.
The impact of the ingredients on the shelf-life?
There are two main factors in the ingredients of Welch’s fruit snack that influence the expiration date. The first one is that all products of Welch’s Snacks are gluten-free, and the other one is that in order to keep their natural taste and to eliminate carcinogenic chemicals, the manufacturers don’t add artificial preservatives to the products.
The management of celiac disease symptoms and those of other gluten-related medical illnesses require a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free products, however, can degrade very quickly due to the large amount of refined starches they contain.
While wheat-based goods are naturally high in starch, gluten-free foods have a higher concentration of refined starches because they rely on refined starches to replace the structure and binding properties that gluten provides in foods. Refined starches exhibit various behaviors because of partial damage that occurs during processing and extraction. Which makes them easily susceptible to spoilage.
Artificial preservatives are a class of chemicals that are added to food, sprayed on food, or used in some pharmaceuticals to prevent food from spoiling, discoloring, or becoming contaminated with bacteria or other disease-causing organisms. But some artificial preservatives, such as nitrites or nitrates used in processed foods, have been shown to be bad for our health. Consuming these preservatives has been shown to increase our risk of colon cancer and should be limited in our diets. This is the main reason welch’s snacks are free from artificial preservatives.
Flavor-wise snacks which contain yogurt have more tendency to get spoiled since milk products provided large amount of energy source for the germs to survive and multiply. But since the unopened packages are kept away from moisture and air the probability of getting bad is far from concern even after the expiration date has passed.
What is the best way to keep Welch’s fruit snacks fresh?
Snacks (or any food) going bad is largely caused by bacteria and mold. So our aim is to keep them away from bacteria as long as possible. Specific foods require certain storage methods to stay fresh, and your favorite snacks are no different. To keep your snacks fresh, follow these simple steps.
Freezing:- Even an opened bag of snacks is most frequently kept in this manner. Snacks kept in the freezer frequently lose their freshness and taste a little strange, but that doesn’t imply they begin to spoil. Keeping unopened snacks in a refrigerator can extend the shelf life up to 6 months.
Avoiding sunlight: Bacterial growth is aided by light and warmth. Any opened product will remain fresher and longer if it is kept out of the sunlight.
Any unfinished Welch’s fruit snack batches should be kept away from things like meat and vegetables. . Because such kinds of food are favorable areas to grow a colony of germs.