When we shop for groceries at the supermarket, we would normally check the sell-by dates of the food products before we decide to put them in the pushcart. And most of us would follow the basic rule that we must consume them before the sell-by date and toss them away once they expire. However, the truth is, some of the common food products are actually safe to eat even if they are expired. Here are 10 Food You Can Actually Eat Past The Expiration Date.
A loaf of bread that is usually sold in a plastic packaging typically lasts for a few days. But does that really mean you have to finish it before the sell-by date? The short answer is “no” since bread can actually last up to 7 days at room temperature, provided if it is stored properly. Want to extend the shelf life of your bread? Place it in the freezer to retain its freshness up to 3 months. Of course, if you see mould starting to grow on the bread, you don’t need us to tell you to throw it away, right?
2) Canned Goods
Has it ever crossed your mind why (some) people like to stock up plenty of canned goods in their kitchen cabinet? No, it has nothing to do with an impending zombie apocalypse or a nuclear holocaust. The main reason is actually plain and simple: canned goods can actually last longer than their original sell-by expiration date, typically up to four extra years. Of course, there’s a catch though: you have to make sure your canned goods are properly stored in a cool, dry and dark area. And in case there are any visible signs of dents and rust, it’s time to say goodbye to your canned goods.
Did you know that cereal is able to last up to six months past its sell-by expiration date? Of course, you need to store your cereal properly in a cool, dry place. The only setback here is the cereal may not taste as fresh as when you first bought it from the supermarket. But they are still edible, provided if you do not mind the stale flavour.
(Potato) chips are safe to eat even after its expiration date, as long as you stored them properly. They can last for at least a couple of weeks or months, particularly if they are still sealed. Of course, once a bag of chips is torn open, it’s always best to consume them while they are still crisp to the bite. But if they start to taste stale or smell funny, your bag of chips’ next destination should be the bin.
5) Dairy Milk
If you always thought that dairy milk in a bottle or carton has a shorter shelf life, well, that actually depends. Here’s the thing: full-cream or whole milk can actually last up to 7 days even after its expiration date, while non-fat milk can keep up to 10 days. Still not confident to drink past-the-expiration dairy milk? This is where your nose comes in handy. If it smells sour when you open the lid, it’s time to discard the milk right away.
You don’t have to discard your eggs if they are already expired. In reality, they can actually stay fresh up to one month past the expiration date as long as they are properly refrigerated. And if you want to play on the safe side, you can always tell whether your eggs are still good or bad by using this simple method: place them in a bowl of water and observe. If they sink, your eggs are safe to eat but if they float, throw them out.
7) Frozen Food
Frozen food — regardless of fruits, vegetables, sausages and pizzas — can be kept past their expiration date, particularly if you store them in the freezer at 0°F (-17.8°C). Of course, you have to make do with the quality of the frozen food beyond its expiration date. It won’t taste as good anymore, given that they’ve been kept for a pretty long time.
Since pasta is a dry good, it can actually last for months or even up to 2 years past its expiration date. This is especially true if you store it properly in a kitchen cabinet or pantry. But be warned, though: if the pasta smells bad or discoloured, discard it instead.
9) Raw Meat
The thing about buying raw meat from the supermarket is that it usually lasts only 2-3 days in the fridge. But the good news is, you can actually keep it past its expiration date if you store your raw meat in the freezer instead, preferably at 0°F (-17.8°C). Here are the basic guidelines on how respective raw meat will last in the freezer: 4 months for minced meat and 1 year for the likes of the whole chicken, chop and steak.
Like dairy milk, yogurt has a sell-by date that typically lasts only for days. But the thing is, yogurt can last up to 2 weeks beyond its expiration date as long as it is unopened. Of course, if you wanted to be on the safe side, check if the expired yogurt smells or tastes funny. If it is, throw it away.