Toss popcorn past expiration date

Dear Heloise: I bought eight packages of popcorn and thought I’d checked the expiration date. I opened the first bag, noticed a rancid taste and thought it was just my taste buds. I opened a new one and did not have any problem.

A week later, I opened another bag and got the same rancid taste. I called the company and found out that the products expired in November 2008. Food shopping is not what it used to be. Evangeline T., Baton Rouge, La.

Evangeline, after researching your problem, we found that both the Food and Drug Administration and the Popcorn Institute say to toss bags of expired popcorn that may be in your cupboards. Mold can grow and can make people sick. Bags that are torn or ripped also should be tossed, as they are at risk for microbes that cause salmonella and botulism. Heloise

P.S.: This is a very good reminder to check canned goods and other pantry staples, especially at a vacation or second home.

Dear Heloise: I use cloth bags, especially when I shop for groceries. I put a cloth bag on the conveyor belt and then line up what groceries I want in it, then do the same with another bag and so on. This way, I am more likely to get the weight distribution that I prefer. Sometimes I have to do some redistribution if I miscalculate the weight, but that I do on my own. This works well for me. Camille, via e-mail

Dear Heloise: After getting home from a trip to visit my family, I found that some perfume I had in my suitcase leaked out. I cannot get rid of the aroma! Anything I put in the case smells strongly like the perfume. How can I remove the smell? Help! I don’t want to have to buy a new piece of luggage. Karen Ann, Salt Lake City

Karen, this happens quite a bit! I answered this in my Good Housekeeping magazine “Ask Heloise” column last year. So, here, for you and other readers, is the well-researched answer: Lightly scour the inside with a little rubbing alcohol poured onto a clean terry cloth (don’t oversaturate). Let dry and repeat. It might take several tries to dilute and disperse the scented oil. Then stuff the luggage with crumpled newspaper and close. Check every few days, and replace until there’s no more odor. Visit for more hints to help you. Heloise.

King Features Syndicate

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