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I was just cooking some soup and added some creme fraiche (I smelt it before and it smelt fine, force of habit)

Once I had mixed it in - I noticed that the sell by date was the 15th of January!

I mean it smelt fine before I put it in, but will I give myself food poisoning or will I be alright?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Crème fraiche is a cultured product, meaning it has lots of helpful bacteria that cause the initial sourness.

These products will tend to become progressively more sour over time - in the case of crème fraiche, more like sour cream - but the pre-existing bacteria tend to compete with (and win against) other parasites, such that the food will start to smell "off" long before it is unsafe, and may actually never spoil as far as bacteria are concerned. It may, however, develop mold.

If it's not moldy, and it smells fine to you, then feel free to eat it and don't fret about it. Sell-by dates are indicators of quality only, not food safety.

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brilliant! I just finished off a bowl and its good to know i won't die! – alice Feb 20 '11 at 17:54
Like sell by dates on 2year old matured cheddar! – Martin Beckett Feb 20 '11 at 23:51

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