I read this little article in the Parents’ magazine (March 2011) and thought it was interesting and helpful so I thought I’d pass it along. Might help any of you who are Expiration Date-aphobes to relax a little on your food tossing… And those of you who hoard food to start tossing!
“You don’t always have to ditch a food that’s past the date printed on its package–The product may still be safe to eat afterwards. The most common date stamps you’ll see:
You’ll want to use the food within 2-3 days of this date. Exceptions: Milk and yogurt refrigerated below 40 degrees F can last up to 1 week after this date; refrigerated eggs are good for up an additional five weeks.
Eat (or freeze) the food by this date. And never use baby formula or baby food beyond this date, since it can lose its nutrients.
Best if Used By
Since this label is often on nonperishable items, use your judgment. Older foods may retain their nutrients and be safe to eat, but they may be stale or have an off color. If it remains unopened in your pantry, peanut butter can last up to 9 months, cereal a year, canned fruit 12-18 months, and canned veggies up to 5 years.”
Ok, there is no way I’m eating a can of veggies that has been expired for 5 years! Just sayin! And I’d still be leery to eat fruit that expired a year ago. Those cans are dated so far ahead anyways as it is. And I’m not going to share this with my mom…she’s a serious food hoarder! It’s hard enough to get her to throw out expired stuff because its always “still good!”