Can You Safely Eat These Products After The Expiration Date?

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.12 - 2024 9:39 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Is it safe to eat these products after the expiration date? Here's the answer.

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When it comes to food expiration dates, many of us are cautious, often discarding products as soon as their "best by" date has passed. However, some foods can be safely consumed after their expiration date, provided certain conditions are met.

Here's a practical guide to understanding when it's okay to eat certain products past their expiration.

Eggs

Eggs often remain edible beyond the date on the carton. To test their freshness, submerge them in cold water. If they sink, they're good to eat. If they float, they're no longer safe. Eggs that rise slightly should be cooked thoroughly before consumption.

Yogurt

Yogurt can last up to ten days past its expiration if stored correctly and the packaging is intact. However, it might taste more acidic. Always do a taste and smell test before consuming expired yogurt.

Butter

Butter nearing expiration can be frozen and later defrosted for use. This method preserves its taste and doesn't pose health risks.

Pasta and Rice

Dry goods like pasta and rice have a long shelf life and can be consumed years after their expiration, especially if stored in dry, airtight containers.

Sugar

Sugar doesn't expire. To maintain its quality, store it in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.

Raw Meats

Be cautious with raw meats. If stored properly, they can be eaten within 24 hours after expiration. Always check for any odd smells or appearances, and be extra careful with ground meat.

Cold Meats

Expired cold meats, especially ham, require careful scrutiny. Check for any changes in smell and appearance. Consuming expired cold meats can be risky due to the potential growth of harmful bacteria like salmonella.

Cheese

Cheese can often be eaten past its expiration date. Hard cheeses last longer than soft cheeses. If the cheese has a more pronounced taste, texture, or color changes, it's best to avoid it.

Condiments

Mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard can last several months past their expiration dates if properly stored. Always check for mold and any changes in taste.

Chocolate

Expired chocolate bars can be safe to consume up to two years past their expiration date, though the taste and texture might be affected. Milk and white chocolates have a shorter post-expiration shelf life.

Milk

The safety of consuming expired milk depends on its type. While fresh milk should be discarded, pasteurized milk can last up to two months past its expiration date if unopened. Always smell and taste to ensure safety.

In conclusion, while it's essential to be cautious, understanding the actual shelf life of various products can reduce food waste and save money. Always use sensory checks – smell, sight, and taste – to ensure the safety of any expired product before consumption. Remember, when in doubt, it's safer to discard the item.

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