The rule of thumb with most foods is: If it smells and/or looks gross, it’s probably unsafe to eat. When in doubt, toss it out -- it’s a whole lot better to be a little wasteful than a lot doubled over with food poisoning.
However, some foods can look and smell perfectly fine and still contain harmful stuff. To avoid food-borne diseases -- which sicken 76 million people a year, according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association -- you should always:
Consume packaged food by its “use by” or “best before” date.
Eat foods with “sell by” dates -- such as meats and dairy products -- within five days of that date.
Toss sliced deli meats after five days.
To further decrease your risk of food poisoning, you might want to take a second look at your fridge, where nasty bacteria, viruses and parasites can lurk. To improve your refrigerator hygiene: