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I'm the bar manager at Taj Bengal, Kolkata, India.

Just wanted to enquire if it's okay to serve Baileys Irish Cream after the "best before" date listed on the bottle.

I would be glad if I can get the answer soon, as a complete batch is about to pass its "best before" date tomorrow.

closed as off-topic by rumtscho Nov 12 '14 at 10:45

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  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is about legal advice for a restaurant – rumtscho Nov 12 '14 at 10:45
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    We actually have discussed this before. But if serve the Baileys and the health inspector comes, he will work according to his rules, no matter if a bunch of people on the Internet said it's OK to serve it. And we cannot know what legal rules are in place in your jurisdiction. We cannot give legal advice, period. – rumtscho Nov 12 '14 at 10:47
  • Ditto. It is one thing when speaking about personal use but quite another when in a business setting and serving the public. – Cindy Nov 12 '14 at 11:03
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Considering even the possibility of litigation, that is, if someone were to get sick and then make the correlation, I think the wiser move as an entrepreneur would be to simply give the stuff away before it expires. I'm sure the regulars would enjoy it. Plus, if you think quick enough on your feet you may be able to come up with a way to use the giveaway as a promo for something that actually brings in revenue ...perhaps a DIY Irish Car Bomb with Bailey's provided at no charge, worth the sale of Guiness and Jameson's.

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    I like that solution a lot. Avoids the legal questions entirely, and solves the actual problem! – Layna Nov 12 '14 at 11:12
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Oh yeah. Certainly you've got wiggle-room, I wish I could tell you how much. Certainly you have weeks, you probably have months. You could stretch your time with a refrigerator.

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As long as the bottles have remained sealed they should be safe for at least another 6 months. Bailey's used to advertise a 30 month shelf life, with the same 2 year quality guarantee they still give. The alcohol content will act as a preservative against most microbial spoilage, but there is still a possibility of rancidity from other sources. If the product has been exposed to direct sunlight, heat above 25˚C, or temperatures below 5˚C you may see a separation of the whiskey-cream emulsion. Even under the best conditions the emulsion will break eventually yielding a separation between the whiskey and the fats from the cream.

The best thing to do is to keep it in a cool, dark place and check the product for any issues of odor, appearance, and flavor as each new bottle is opened.

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