A MAN has gone viral for eating eggs and yorhut weeks after their best-before date, claiming he never gets sick.
Gavin Wren, 44, from Forest Gate, east London, is passionate about cutting back on food waste, which also saves pennies.
He describes himself as having a “titanium belly”, and has amassed more than four million views on TikTok with his experiments.
These include eating a fried egg 88 days past its best before date – even though another egg from the same box had turned green.
Gavin recently posted a video of himself eating a big spoonful of yoghurt 31 days after its use-by date and chicken after two days
And he once ate a tub of hummus 17 days past its use-by date – only stopping when a microbiologist he had sent a sample to found bacteria in the hummus, and suggested he gave it up.
His most recent video was eating yellow coleslaw 15 days after it’s use-by-date, which he said was “still okay”.
Gavin admitted some of his 54K followers on TikTok are worried about him and send him messages asking if he is still alive if he doesn’t post for one day.
His experiments – which experts warn against – may chime with people worried about food costs as Britons face the highest rate of inflation in 40 years.
He said: “The point of the challenges isn’t to shock or gross anyone out, but to show people that food can last far longer than you would expect.
“I am shocked by the amount of food that we waste.
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“I grew up in a family where if something looked and smelled alright, you would just eat it.
“Maybe that gave me a titanium belly.
“People always ask me if I have been sick, and I swear to God not once have I ever had any stomach problems or any sickness.
“I have been absolutely fine with all of them.”
On its website the Food Standards Agency (FSA) explains, a best before date is “about quality and not safety”.
But a use-by date is “about safety” and they advise not to eat, cook or freeze any foods past the use-by date.
And the FSA’s head of Foodborne Disease, Narriman Looch, also warned starkly: “Never eat food after the use-by date, even if it looks and smells ok, as it could make you very ill.”
Gavin’s first experiment was in February 2022 involving four eggs, which he said his followers became really invested in.
He said: “I had known for many years that eggs last way longer than their best before date. It is something I found out about 10 years ago.
“To my mind, eggs are a food people are a little bit scared of. I don’t think anyone wants to eat eggs that are off.”
Gavin used the float test over several weeks; if the egg sinks, it’s fresh, but if it floats, this indicates it is rotten.
By May 12, the eggs were 88 days beyond their best before date and had started floating.
Gavin cracked open “a floater” and found it “had turned into green slime but it didn’t smell, funnily enough”.
But after cracking open one that was only a “semi-floater”, and sniffing it, he decided it was “perfectly fine”.
He said: “I fried it and it was delicious.”
In his day job, Gavin, who is in a relationship with artist Uli Ap, 41, advises organisations on how food production can become more sustainable.
When he started posting on TikTok in 2020 as @gavin.wren, he intended to educate people where food came from.
But his out of date food challenges have seen his following double in the past three months alone.
Gavin’s main message is to urge people to use their senses and look at and smell their food before they throw it away.
He added: “This is how I live my life.”
Narriman Looch, Head of Foodborne Disease at the FSA said: “Never eat food after the use-by date, even if it looks and smells ok, as it could make you very ill.
“We know many people are concerned about food affordability and food waste.
“There are some things you can do to reduce the amount of food you throw away, such as following storage instructions on the packet, checking your fridge before you shop and trying to use up foods that are approaching their use-by date first.
“To help cut waste, we work with food manufacturers on product storage instructions, best-before and use-by dates.”