15 Food Expiration Dates You Need to Remember

by Maria Konou

You open the fridge, see a carton of milk, and can’t help but wonder when you got it. You check the expiration date, but still wonder if it is possible to add some to your coffee. The answer in a nutshell depends on many factors such as freshness, taste, texture, and smell. Usually there are a couple of different dates on the food packet packaging. They include best before date (the date the manufacturer predicts the product will peak in quality), best if used by (the last date you can expect peak taste and texture) and the packet number used by the manufacturer. In most cases, even after these dates, some products can still be enjoyed. However, there are some foods that you should NOT eat after the expiration date. In this article, you will learn which food expiration dates you need to know and remember:

These are the most important food expiration dates you need to know

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Food Expiration Dates You Need to Remember

#Liquid Egg Substitutes

Once an egg leaves its shell, its life shortens considerably. So if you are using liquid eggs or egg substitutes that come in paper cartons or bottles, be sure to throw them away once the expiration date has passed. Eggs are food that you need to be careful with, especially in the summer!

Remember to throw away egg substitutes once the expiration date passes

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#Soft Cheeses

Ricotta, cream cheese, goat cheese and other decadent soft cheeses are sadly also susceptible to mold and bacterial growth. That is why you should throw them out on the expiration date or at the first sign of spoilage, whichever comes first. If you think you won’t be able to use them before they expire, you can always put them in the freezer! Here are some surprising foods that you can actually freeze and use later!

Cheese is susceptible to mold and bacterial growth after a while

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#Cold-Pressed Juices

Unlike the juices offered in grocery stores, fresh, cold-pressed juices are not pasteurized. This means they will spoil quickly, so you need to make sure you drink them within a day or so of bringing them home! If you have too much juice, and you don’t know what to do with it, freeze it in an ice tray! This will make your cocktails and smoothies so much better!

Cold pressed juices last only a day or two, so enjoy them while fresh

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Berries like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries only keep for about three days after purchase. After that they will start to become soft, mushy and less appetizing. Blueberries are a bit more robust, so they tend to stay fresh for about a week. Nevertheless, our berry guides will help you keep your fruits fresh for longer! There you will find the best tips and tricks for washing and storing berries to keep them super aromatic and fresh for weeks.

Berries usually last only three days after purchase

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Fresh meat and fish should be refrigerated or frozen as soon as you bring them in from the store. If you are going to cook it within a day or two, you can safely store in the fridge. If you can’t cook them immediately, it is better to freeze the meat instead. Cured meats should also be kept in the fridge, but they can last up to seven days.

Cured meats can last a lot longer in the fridge than fresh meat

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You need to act superfast when it comes to fresh meat and seafood, but you need to act even faster with scallops! Scallops should be eaten or refrigerated within 24 hours of bringing them home. Anything longer than that does not carry the same freshness and should be avoided.

You should eat scallops immediately after purchasing them

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#Leftover Meals

Leftover meals should always be eaten within 1–2 days after the food was originally prepared. Be especially careful with foods that have been removed from a large container, such as potato salad or pasta salad, which are more likely to be exposed to bacteria. Also, invest in high-quality storage containers with airtight lids to ensure that your leftovers are as fresh and delicious as possible!

Leftover meals can last longer than two days if stored correctly 

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#Dry Pasta

As long as you store your dry pasta in a cool, dry place, you can eat it whenever you want! It may lose some of its flavor over time or have a bit of a stale taste once cooked, but it won’t actually “spoil”. So, keep your pasta in an airtight glass jar in the back of a dark kitchen cabinet, and you are good to go!

Dry pasta can last a long time, without spoiling 

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#Vanilla Extract (and other extracts)

Vanilla extract is the star ingredient in so many delicious baked recipes. Vanilla extract (along with other flavored extracts such as almonds, coffee, etc.) is mostly made up of alcohol. That means that they will keep almost indefinitely, although the flavor and aroma are best for the first five years. Store them in a cool, dark, dry place like at the back of a kitchen cabinet.

Flavored extracts used in baking can last you a lot more than expected

food expiration dates you should follow

#Worcestershire Sauce

Like alcohol, salt is also an effective preservative, which is why unopened bottles of salty sauces like Worcestershire and soy sauce can stay good for up to ten years! Once opened, the sauce will be good for 2–3 years if stored in a cool, dark place. That is great news for all sauce-lovers out there!

Salty sauces like Worcestershire sauce can last you a lifetime if unopened

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Did you know that carrots can actually stay fresh for weeks in your fridge? You just have to know how to store them properly. If you are going to use them soon, just store them in an unsealed zip-lock bag in a clean food drawer for a few days. If you want them to last even longer, place them in a glass container in cold water. Make sure to change the water every few days, and you will have crispy carrots for at least two weeks!

You can make your carrots last you a long time with this hack

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Peppers last longer in the refrigerator than other types of produce thanks to a gene that prevents their cell structures from breaking down. Isn’t that amazing! Green peppers can last a surprisingly long time, up to about 2–3 weeks. You don’t have to do anything special when it comes to the storage, Just make sure to keep them dry, so they don’t get moldy.

Peppers are probably one of the most long-lasting vegetables 

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The high acidity of vinegar acts as a natural preservative, inhibiting the growth of bacteria to the point where they can stay good almost indefinitely. Distilled white vinegar will not change over time, but other varieties of vinegar may undergo changes in color or clarity (but these changes should not affect taste or quality.) So, store your vinegar in a cool and dark place and once opened, try to use it within a year.

Try to use your open vinegar bottles within one year 

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#Hard Cheeses

Hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Swiss cheese, and Parmesan will last quite a while in the refrigerator, especially if stored properly. If you notice a spot of mold on a hard cheese, you can cut it off and it will be safe. Hard cheeses can last up to 3–4 weeks in the fridge!

Hard cheeses are a long-lasting product that you don’t have to worry about

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Do spices spoil after the expiration date? Not exactly. Dried herbs and spices will become less potent and flavorful over time, but they will not “spoil.” It may be tempting to buy loose dried herbs and spices, but over time their flavor will change.

Dried herbs and spices don’t really spoil, they become less flavorful

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These were the most common food expiration dates you need to remember. If it helps, you can write down the date when you open an item to keep track, and make sure everything is well accounted for.

Now you know which are the most common food expiration dates!

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Maria Konou

Maria Konou is a specialist in the field of digital marketing and fashion. However, she has always had a way with words. That’s what led her to her dream job here at Archzine. She has worked in many different fields over the years, but according to her, being an author has been the most rewarding. Maria is a huge plant enthusiast, loves everything fashion-related, is very sustainably aware, and is always open to learning about new things.