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Lifestyles

4 'best by' dates you should NEVER ignore and 4 that don't matter (for the sake of your health)

Posted May 8

Did you know that most products you use don’t even have to have an expiration, best by or sell by date, according to WebMD? By law only certain foods (like baby formula) have to have an expiration date. This means that a lot of those dates can be ignored, which is great news to all of us who hate throwing food out.

But while this works for some foods, others can make you seriously ill if you push past those warning dates. Be sure to know which foods you can eat past their best by dates, and which ones to throw away.

Be wary of:

1. Mayo or Miracle Whip

Whether you’re a Mayo fan or a Miracle Whip fan, the rules apply to both. Other condiments can go several months or even years past the expiration date, but unopened mayo in your pantry should be thrown out a week after it expires. Open mayo (in your fridge) should be discarded one month after it expires, according to Eat By Date.

2. Deli Meat

You should never eat deli meat past its expiration date. Deli meat can carry a bacteria that grows in cold temperatures called listeria, according to Fox News. Eating deli meat that is expired can be hazardous to your health.

3. Mixed salads

It’s not likely you’re eating slimy salad, but if you are, it doesn’t just taste bad — it’s not good for your health. Bags of mixed greens are exposed to more bacteria because they are handled frequently, according to Fox News. When your greens acquire a dark slime, throw them away.

4. Honey

Honey never expires (I’ve eaten honey my grandma has had in her storage from the 1970s), but it’s a myth that it doesn’t go bad. Because it has a yeast presence, honey can ferment and turn into alcohol, according to WNYC.

Don’t be so worried about:

1. Eggs

You can usually eat eggs three to four weeks after their best by date, according to Eat By Date. However, you can only save egg whites, yolks or substitutes for a few days (no more than three).

2. Pickles

As long as they aren't opened, pickles can last up to two years (whether in the fridge or in the pantry) post expiration date.

3. Cereal

Companies print a ‘best by’ date so consumers eat their product when it tastes the best. Cereal long past its best by date probably won’t taste weird, and may even lose it’s color, but it’s usually safe to eat, according to Time.

4. Mac and Cheese

Similar to cereal, mac and cheese can still be safely consumed a year after its expiration date, but it might not taste great.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

1 Comment

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  • Jim Frei May 8, 2:50 p.m.
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    What is needed is a "throw this krap away" date.