How often do you notice that one of your food items has just expired and then wonder how much longer it can stay in the refrigerator or on the pantry shelf without getting you sick? I know I always hate throwing away expired items! Here’s all you need to know about expiration dates.
Different Types of Dating
This date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. Buy the product before the date printed.
BEST IF USED BY OR BEST IF USED BEFORE DATE
It’s recommended that you consume these products before this date for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
USE BY DATE
This is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality as determined by the manufacturer of the product.
How Long Can I Safely Use/Consume…
- Milk: If stored around 37 degrees Fahrenheit, pasteurized milk will remain fresh for 2-5 days after its sell-by date.
- Meat: All meat, whether it’s ground hamburger or a steak, should be eaten or placed in the freezer within 2 days of purchase. Even if the sell-by date is five days away, the refrigerator at home usually isn’t cool enough to keep the meat fresh for more than two days. Frozen ground meat should be used within 3 months. Pork holds for 6 months. Beef, lamb, veal, and venison last 8 to 12 months in the freezer.
- Chicken: Chicken should be cooked or frozen within 2 days of purchase. Poultry and other birds last about 12 months in the freezer. Do not thaw chicken on the kitchen counter, as bacteria multiply very rapidly at room temperature. The safest way to thaw poultry or meat is to defrost it by placing the package in the refrigerator immediately after removing it from the freezer or by placing the package under cold running water.
- Canned Foods: Be sure to store them below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In general, high-acid canned foods such as tomatoes, grapefruit and pineapple can be stored on the shelf 12 to 18 months. Low-acid canned foods such as meat, poultry, fish and most vegetables will keep 2 to 5 years.
- Cake Mix, Pasta and Cookies: Store in a cool, dry storage place and they will last up to six months from the date of purchase.
- Cereal: Cereal is edible up to 2-3 months after being opened in a dry room.
- Cold Cuts/Hot Dogs: Discard as soon as they reach their expiration dates.
- Soft Cheese (Brie and Camembert): Eat within three to four days of opening.
- Hard Cheese: Can last up to three weeks and can also be frozen up to six months.
- Eggs: Properly refrigerated and handled, eggs are considered safe for consumption for four to five weeks beyond the sell-by date. You should refrigerate the eggs in their original carton and place them in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the door!
PERSONAL CARE ITEMS
- Liquid Foundation: 3-6 months
- Cream foundation: 4-6 months
- Concealer: 6-8 months
- Powders: 1 year
- Mascara: 3 months (beware of old mascara! It can clog up in your eyes!)
- Lip Gloss and Lipstick: 1 year
- Eye and Lip Pencils: 1 year. Sharpen pencils at least once a week to prevent bacteria from being transferred to your eye area.
- Facial Cleansers and Moisturizers: 6 months
- Facial Toners: 1 year
- Body Lotion: 2 to 3 years, particularly if it’s in a pump container.
- Shampoo, Conditioner and Shower Gel: 3 years
- Sunscreen: Check the package for an expiration date.
- Perfume: 2 years if you stow it in a cool, dark place.
- Nail polish: 1 year
- Hair Styling Products: 3 to 5 years. Most are alcohol-based, which helps preserve the formula.
- Bar Soap: Up to 3 years
- Shaving Cream: 2 years
- Deodorant: Up to 2 years
[Source: Daily Savings from All You]