As the cost of food rises more and more each day, most of us find that we have to stretch what we can for a long as we can. Sometimes that mean taking a chance and using foods in our pantry that may be expired. However, it would seem that there are certain foods that should never be used past their expiration date, no matter what.
In the case of egg substitutes, it is important to adhere to the expiration date on the carton. Eggs, in the shell, can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 weeks, however, egg substitutes have a very short shelf life once opened. Unopened they will last about ten days, on the other hand, if opened they need to be used within 3-5 days on average.
Unlike their hard cheese counterparts such as cheddar or gouda, which can last up to six months in your refrigerator after opening, your softer cheeses do not have near the shelf life. The difference in expiration is simply reliant on how easily bacteria can penetrate the product. Once the expirations date or you spy any mold whichever comes first, your softer cheeses need to be tossed.
I am guilty of this next one. When we use a condiment, for some reason we have it in our mind that an opened condiment has an unending shelf life. However, from the moment you pop the seal, condiments begin to degrade just like any other product. A word of advice—the date on the jar is not the expiration date after opening. That is the date that you need to use the product by. If you have not started using it by the date shown, it is a good rule of thumb to just toss it.
Most fresh meats have a “sell by” date listed on it. This is the latest date that the grocer has to move the product out of the store, or else remove it from their store. However, next to that date will often be the phrase “use or freeze by”. You pretty much want to follow this date to a tee by doing one or the other—use it or freeze it. If you don’t you will end up with meat that is not consumable and a chunk was taken out of your food budget that has gone to waste.
It is in your best interest to keep an eye on any expirations dates listed on these particular foods. With the recent rise in reports pertaining to foodborne illnesses, one has to wonder if a majority of them are due to people just not heading expiration dates on their foods