5 Quick Tips About Food Expiration Dates

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5 Quick Tips About Food Expiration Dates

5 Quick Tips About Food Expiration Dates

Before you toss out your food, it’s time to pay attention to the expiration dates! Dates mean different things based on the item. I want to walk you through what you should know in 5 quick tips about food expiration dates. Follow us on Pinterest as we are always pinning awesome ways to save tips! Plus, don’t forget to pin this for future reference and share with your family and friends!

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Understand the “Sell By” Date

Most foods have a sell by date on their packages. These dates indicate a certain date that you should buy the product. However, this doesn’t mean it expires on that date. If you purchase the food by the sell by date and consumer it by the “use by” date you should be good to go.

Understand the “Use By” Date

These typically are when the manufacturer deems the product reached the peak freshness. Again, does not mean that the item is no loner good or spoiled.

Veggies and Fruits

It’s pretty obvious that most fruits and veggies do not have an expiration date. However, it’s pretty apparent as to when fruits are going bad. When you’re in the store purchasing fruits and veggies, always look at the current condition to get an idea for how ripe they already are. The riper they are at the store, the shorter life span they’ll have in your kitchen.

Expiration Date

Many items do have an expiration date on their food packages. Items like cans, cereals, and other boxed items have an expiration date that is pretty important. These foods are not considered good after they have reached this date, especially meat and diary products. Eggs is a food that you can eat after the expiration date. Did you know that you can test an egg to see if its fresh? Fill a small bowl with water. Place the whole egg, shell and all, in the water.  If it sinks it is still edible.  If it floats it means, toss them out!

Below, find additional foods and their shelf lives, according to the USDA. Every food product listed should be stored at a refrigerator temperature of 40 F and below for the following shelf life to pertain.

Eggs 21 to 35 days
Lunch meat 14 days [unopened];3 to 5 days [opened]
Bacon 14 days [unopened];7 days [opened]
Cured Ham 5 to 7 days
Beef, Veal, Pork and Lamb 3 to 5 days
Ground Meat 1 or 2 days
Sausage 1 or 2 days
Apples 90 to 240 days
Grapefruit 28 to 42 days
Strawberries 5 to 7 days
Raspberries 1 to 2 days
Grapes 56 to 180 days
Carrots 28 to 128 days
Cherries 10 to 21 days
Asparagus 10 to 20 days
Bunched Broccoli 10 to 14 days
Celery 3 to 5 days
Lettuce 14 to 21 days

Fish and Red Meat

Some items expire before their expiration date because of the way they’ve been handled or stored. Always make sure you smell the meat, fish, or poultry before you consume it. You should be able to figure out when something is bad as the smell will be quite noticeable.

If you have an inkling that your food is not good, it’s not wise to go ahead with consumption. Always look at dates before cooking or eating. I of course do the smell test too! Of course, check back with these tips to also make sure you understand the basics of expiration dates!

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5 Quick Tips About Food Expiration Dates

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  1. Great tips! I honestly don’t pay a ton of attention to expiration dates on many products-view them as “best if used by” dates. Obviously, some things it is necessary to observe them on, but most things are fine after their expiration date by at least a week or more. Canned items are typically okay for a long time after their expiration. Even things like sour cream and cottage cheese are usually fine for a while after the expiration date. My mentality is that if it doesn’t smell, look or taste spoiled, then it is fine. I realize that this is not the way most people think, but we definitely cut down on food waste by not throwing everything out as soon as it hits a certain date!

    Ps. Corn chips and tortillas are two things that do not last long after their expiration dates since they start tasting rancid pretty quickly!
    Lydia @ Thrifty Frugal Mom recently posted..OUR $200/MO. GROCERY BUDGET: WHAT I SPENT & SAVED THIS WEEK (2/8-2/14)My Profile

  2. This was really helpful. Now I know I need to eat the bacon FASTER. I am really happy about that! Thanks for sharing these great tips at Inspire Me Mondays Link-Up. Enjoy your week and we hope to see you again soon!

  3. Great tips! Thanks so much for linking this up at Best of the Weekend!
    Amy @ Ms. Toody Goo Shoes recently posted..BEST OF THE WEEKEND 93My Profile

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