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When it comes to food and expiration dates, what is right? We’ve all been there where we sniff day-old milk to see if it is still good. Sometimes we might risk it, sometimes we’ll just go ahead and toss it. No one wants to create food waste, but at the same time, no one wants to risk giving themselves food poisoning.

So, when it comes to food safety and out of date products, what can we get away with? The use-by and sell-by dates are not set in stone, they’re more like guidelines by the FDA. So, there is wiggle room if you are going by these dates since this could mean you’re tossing good food.

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When it comes to food safety, common sense is probably your best bet. If the food smells off, looks off, or tastes off, then don’t eat it. But more importantly, make sure that you’re storing your food at the correct temperature for its preservation.

Check out 10 foods below and information on how long they last past their expiration dates:

Canned Foods

These items can usually last a long while if they are stored at safe temperatures – which is usually below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, in theory, they can last indefinitely. However, they’re at their best quality between two to five years after their expiration date. If you have any cans that are rusty or beginning to bulge, then chances are the contents aren’t safe to eat.

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Frozen Food

Frozen food can last forever, but after a few months or a year of their expiration dates the quality of the contents will start to decline – depending on the food item inside.

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Hard Cheeses

Depending on how they are stored, certain hard cheeses can last six months if they are left unopened inside the refrigerator, or one month once they’re opened. The nice thing about hard cheeses is that if there is a moldy spot that appears, you can simply cut that bit off, and the rest should still be fine to eat.

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Even if the sell-by date comes and goes, most eggs will remain safe to eat for 3-5 weeks after you buy them.

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Bread can actually be kept around for a while if you choose to stick it in the freezer. But if you just have it sitting on the counter then you risk it becoming stale. Past the expiration date, stale bread is still fine so long as there is no mold. If mold appears then you have to toss it.

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Cereal will go stale after its expiration date passes, but even then, it is still safe to consume well past the expiration date.

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Dried Pasta

Unopened, a box of dried pasta will be fine for two years. And once you pen on a box, you can keep dried pasta for about a year.

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Sugar will never go bad so you can keep it forever. Of course, if you are concerned about quality, then you might want to use it within two years of being opened.

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Milk can still be safe to use for a couple of days after its expiration – especially if you have not opened up the carton. Granted, if you have opened it and it’s a couple days past the sell-by date then you need to just give it a little taste to determine if it’s still good or not. We’ve all done it.

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Even if you have opened on it, yogurt will stay edible up to a week past the expiration date.

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