With the current situation we find ourselves constantly going through our pantries to the bottom and using whatever we find. Some of us want to avoid going to the supermarket at all costs or order food at home. Whatever your case, don’t throw away those foods that have passed their expiration date.
Depending on the type of food, many of them may still be good despite having expired. Expiration dates are an estimate of how long a product will remain in good condition. However, they can often be safe to consume even later.
First, the most important thing is to understand what the expiration dates actually mean.
The “expiration” dates are the manufacturers recommendations of food on how long the food will keep at its best quality. Consuming it after the date should not be harmful.
The “expiration” dates are so consumers know how long the produce will be considered fresh. After that, the food can go bad. It’s a rough guideline and you can always use your own judgment to determine if the food is still good.
The “Sell by” dates are so stores know how long to keep this product on display. You can consume the product after that date, but the quality and taste have probably decreased. This date is not a food safety issue.
Expiration dates also reflect quality, not food safety, and is a rough recommendation from the manufacturer.
These are 11 foods that stay good even after their expiration date
1. Hard cheese
Hard cheeses like Parmesan can still be edible even as they begin to show signs of aging. If it passes its expiration date, it may form white or blue-green mold on the surface. In this case, just cut the affected parts and the rest of the cheese will be perfectly edible.
Hard cheeses have a low moisture content, which makes it difficult for bacteria to grow, as most bacteria prefer moist environments.
Eggs are perishable items that can spoil as quickly as other animal foods. But its shelf life can be extended by a couple of days with proper handling. If kept in the refrigerator at 4.4 degrees Celsius, they will keep good for about three to four weeks after the packing date.
3. Granola and cereal
Dry and processed foods contain little or no moisture, which reduces its perishability. This makes them fully edible between one and three weeks after their expiration date. Nuts, chips, and crackers last a long time for the same reason.
The bread can last for about a week after its expiration date, but you have to watch out for moho. Store the bread in a cool, dry environment. To make the bread last longer, freeze it and it will keep for three to six months. Over time it may lose its freshness and flavor, but it will still be edible.
The low moisture content of pasta can compensate for rancidity, whether it is white or whole. Therefore, it is safe to use it until about two years after its expiration date. Keep in mind that the quality will decrease over time. The same applies to dry rice and raw oats.
6. Canned corn
Canned corn is one of the longest-lasting foods available. The expiration date is usually three or five years. But it can be safely consumed until one or two years laterBecause the canning process kills the microorganisms that spoil food and there is no oxygen inside to spoil it.
beans, mushrooms, pasta sauce, chicken, chili, and fruit are other canned goods that last a long time. The taste will be affected as time goes on, but they should be safe to consume.
7. Dry ingredients
White flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar fall into this category.
Since there is no moisture in the dry ingredients, they are less susceptible to bacterial growth in general. Salt, in particular, is never spoiled because it does not have the means to support bacterial growth and is often used as a preservative.
Cow’s milk can last up to a week after its expiration date, but usually only about 2-3 days. Always smell it before use to make sure it doesn’t smell sour. The way the milk is processed can also affect how long it will expire. Pasteurized, UHT (ultra high temperature) and raw milk all differ in terms of shelf life.
Walnuts don’t contain a lot of moisture, but due to their high fat content, always inspect nuts before eating if they’ve been in your pantry for a while.
If they have smell of grass or paint, they look dark or oily, or if there is water damage on the packaging, throw them away. It is best to always store walnuts in a cool, dry place. If you have space in your fridge, store them there. If not, a cool dark closet will suffice.
10. Root vegetables
Root vegetables like beets, carrots, and parsnips can last for several weeks without any negative effect on their flavor.
In general, the fresher the food and the more water and oil it contains, the faster it will spoil.
Honey never goes bad. It’s a low-moisture acid, high in sugar, and even contains hydrogen peroxide. In general, it is a very unfavorable environment for most microbes. So if the honey is properly sealed and stored in a dry environment, will last forever.
How to tell when a food has gone bad
When in doubt, use your senses of sight, touch, and smell to see if the food has spoiled. If it smells bad, feels bad, and looks bad, it most likely is.
For example, spoiled milk will smell unpleasantly sour or even putrid. Meat that has a pungent, ammonia-like odor that is turning green and slimy also shows obvious signs of bad condition.
Discoloration or mold on vegetables and fruits is a sign of rancidity.
Also, don’t eat canned goods if:
- They are dented or bulging.
- If the seal is broken.
- If dry food remains come out of the top, or
- If the food inside smells bad.
- If it has an unnatural color or foamy / cotton-like mold on top.