I have a really old packet of McCormick Hollandaise sauce mix - it's 5 years expired. Is it safe to use and eat? Main ingredients are Wheat starch, maltodextrin, egg solids, soy lecithin, etc..

  • Isn't that what the word "expired" means in this context? "Not safe to use and eat"? Mar 19, 2016 at 16:21
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    @WillemvanRumpt. Not necessarily. Here in the UK we have "use by" dates which are safety based, and "best before" dates which are based on a barely detectable change in taste/texture (not necessarily for the worse). It appears that both are equivalent to "expiry" days in some places.
    – Chris H
    Mar 19, 2016 at 18:32
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    Same in the US (the OP is in New York and McCormick stuff is widely sold here) - expiration dates are generally "best by" except on obviously perishable things.
    – Cascabel
    Mar 19, 2016 at 21:04
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    @ChrisH: Ah, didn't know. We might (or probably) have something similar here (NL), I just interpret every date as a "do not touch after this" date. Mar 20, 2016 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


If it's a powdered mix, it's still powder (not clumped) and the pack is sealed, I'd go for it. Dried foods here are most likely to have a best before date, rather than a use by (real expiry) date. If it's clumped or the packet is damaged it may have absorbed water which wouldn't be good. It's possible that the flavour will have deteriorated a little. For example, powdered egg keeps for 5-10 years, most foods don't have longer than a nominal year on the label.

A wet sauce mix may also keep that long if it's packed in a way equivalent to canning (i.e. sealed then cooked in the packet).

If anything seems wrong about it, avoid it.

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