Sunday, January 24, 2010

Danger In Your Pantry Or Medicine Cabinet: Seniors Ignore Expiration Dates

Guess what? Moms aren't perfect. But my mom has a "tragic flaw."

Little was more fun than our family's rivalry over finding the oldest foodstuff or medication in mom's pantry or medicine cabinet. As soon as we'd arrive at her house, we'd scramble towards our treasure (barely greeting the anxiously awaiting mom/grandma!) robustly declaring a victory when we'd find a bulging (unsafe), non-dated item or a well-expired antibiotic.

Mom thinks that dates are scams by companies to make the consumer buy more. To a degree she's correct. According to a medical newsletter expiration dates do not mean that the medicine is not effective. In fact, many are safe well beyond the printed date--so long as they are stored correctly--in a cool, dry, dark place--which means not in pockets, cars, or bathrooms.

For more on Health and Wellness Safety, visit


Diane J Standiford said...

I abide by the expire date and "when in doubt, toss it out."
I used to find bottles that were YEARS past expiration! (I put them out of their misery.) Watch your parents, many pills were found all over my 99 year old aunt's apt., they are afraid to say they dropped them so they just take them. And when dementia begins---take over because they can't.

Ms. 50something said...

Oh, you are so correct, Diane. I really should have stressed and ended with "throw it out if you have ANY question."