Recently, I discarded some dates which lost their moisture. I was afraid that they had gone “bad.” Shortly after I threw them out, I began to wonder if I should have kept them.
Turns out unless there is mold on dates they are fit to consume. If I had re-hydrated them, they would have been good to eat! The same goes fro raisins, dried cherries, currants and figs. Cover them in a bowl of water (some suggest boiling water) and they will soften in minutes.
Use-By Date or Best-By Date
The use-by and best-by dates on food are a guide to quality. They give you the last date the product is at its best. They are NOT about safety. If a properly refrigerated or stored edible item smells and looks fine, it’s probably safe to eat.
Always discard food with an off odor, flavor or appearance.
Katelyn is checking the freshness of stored beans.
It’s good to remind ourselves from time to time about the freshness of food in our homes. We want to use all food items, discarding little if any uneaten food. At the same time, we don’t want to get sick or make anyone in our home sick from food that has gone bad.
Refrigerated Opened Items
Fresh ground beef 3 days
Milk is usually good for a week past “Best by Date”. It will begin to smell sour.
Cheese up to 4 weeks (unopened will last months, check Best Buy date.) Hard cheeses up to 3 months.
Leftovers 3 days
Pasta Sauce 5 days
Eggs are unlikely to go bad when refrigerated. They might dry out. A rule of thumb is use them by 30 days after the sell by date.
Refrigerated Opened Condiments
(A good idea is to mark the date that you open these items. But hey, I’ve used these items way past the dates recommended here.)
Salsa 1 month
Pickles 2 months
Olives 2 months
Dates 2 months
Mayonnaise 2 months
Ketchup and Mustard 1 year
Maple Syrup 1 year
Olive Oil 1 year
Coconut Oil 1 year
Pantry Items That Might Outlive You
These are good items to begin storing, as they will almost last forever.
Spices and Herbs (Over time, will lose potency.)
White, Jasmine, Arborio and Basmati Rice
Pasta (I’ve used pasta that I’ve had for years. The only way I’d throw it out is if it had bugs in it.)
What’s Still Good If Unopened After Best-Buy Date?
Most canned and food in unopened jars: Unless the can has been dented or you see it has expanded, most canned food will last years. Never eat food from a can which looks or smells off!
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