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Think Twice Before Throwing Away: Foods That Are Safe to Consume Past Expiration Date

Cleaning your fridge and pantry usually ends up in throwing away foods that are past expiration dates. But before you go shooting them in your waste bin, you should know which ones can still be safely consumed first.

Before you scoff at the idea, know that there are so many people who die of hunger in some parts of the world and in stark contrast, others easily throw away food. To minimize this unhealthy habit, take a look at this list of foods that can usually be eaten past their stamped expiration dates.


There’s not much to say about cereals except that they are made to last for a long time. This favorite breakfast meal, if unopened, can still be eaten six to eight months after the indicated expiration date, which is why it might be good to stock on it when the apocalypse comes.

Unopened cereals are safe to consume between six to eight months after expiration date

Once opened, it will be fresh for four months to half a year. However, cooked cereals like oatmeal will only be fresh for about four to five days in the fridge.

Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic director Emily Broad Leib said the quality isn’t the issue with cereals. It can get stale but that’s it – it can be concluded that it is still safe to eat.


Many people are nonchalant about consuming food after its expiration date passes, and although not applicable to all, gauging if the bread is safe to eat only requires common sense. Experts said that white bread will stay fresh for five days to a week if stored properly at room temperature.

Rule of the thumb: bread is safe to eat if without mold

Packaged bread, meanwhile, will still be edible for at least three months if frozen. The general rule is that if it doesn’t have mold, you can eat it.

Peanut Butter

Store-bought jars of peanut butter usually have tons of preservatives, which is why it’s fine if they are refrigerated or not. If a jar remains unopened, you can still eat it a year after it expires.

The natural version of peanut butter has a shorter shelf life – three to six months after the date stamped on the jar but should be kept in the refrigerator. Its staunch rival, Nutella, will only remain consumable two to three months after the printed date.

Canned Goods

Canned foods already have a long shelf life, which is why they are good to store during calamities. In fact, they are generally good to consume past the printed date.

Canned goods generally have a long shelf life

What you need to be cautious about are acidic foods, like canned tomatoes and pineapple, as well as soups. These are only fine to eat about a year or two after their expiration date.

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