Safely Eating Expired Foods

no-more-ramen:

The food bank gave me a hand-out about how long you can safely eat unopened foods past their expiration dates, and I thought other people might find it helpful. 

DAIRY:

  • Milk, cream: within 10 days past expiration date
  • Soft cheese, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese: consume within 14 days past expiration date
  • Butter, hard cheese: consume within 3 months past expiration date (personal note: if cheese gets mold you can cut off the moldy parts the rest is still fine)
  • Frozen butter: consume within 12 months past expiration date
  • Eggs (in shells): consume within 1 month past expiration date
  • Egg substitutes: consume within 10 days of expiration date. 

MEAT:

  • Fresh: consume on or before expiration date
  • Frozen: defrost in fridge or microwave, and eat immediately after defrosting. 
  • Not do eat: meat with severe freeze burn, discolored meat, and meat not frozen before expiration date

MEAT & DAIRY SUBSTITUTES:

  • Liquid products (rice milk, almond milk): consume withing 10 days past expiration date
  • Shelf stable liquid products: consume within 12 months past expiration date
  • Margarine: consume within 6 months past expiration date
  • Meat substitutes (tofu, etc): consume on or before expiration date
  • Frozen meat substitutes: consume within 12 months past expiration date if frozen before expiration date

DRIED & CANNED FOODS:

  • Dried beans, pasta: consume indefinitely
  • Dressings, mayo: consume within 12 months past expiration date
  • Cereal, crackers: consume within 12 months past expiration date
  • Canned foods: may be consumed indefinitely (except for pineapple and tomato)
  • Jarred foods, canned tomato and pineapple: consume within 18 months past expiration date

OTHER:

  • Fresh juice: consume within 3 months past expiration date
  • Fresh bread, pastries: consume on or before expiration date (personal note, I find that sandwich bread is good to eat so long as it’s not stale or growing mold)
  • Frozen bread: consume within 6 months past expiration date
  • Fresh produce: ripe, edible, and mold-free
  • Sliced melon: consume on or before expiration date
  • Deli items, packaged by store: consume within 48 hours of expiration date
  • Pre-packaged prepared foods packed by manufacturer, fresh: consume within 14 days past expiration date
  • Pre-packaged prepared foods packed by manufacturer, frozen: consume within 12 months past expiration date

DO NOT EAT:

  • Food that is stale, has insects, or mold
  • Food in open, punctured, bulging, or seriously damaged cans
  • Food in a jar that is leaking or has a broken seal
  • Food that is discolored or has an off-odor
  • Product has been thawed then re-frozen 

Please use your best judgement and when in doubt, throw it out. 

 

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