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In a time of ever-increasing food prices, our ability to keep food waste to a minimum is paramount, which is why food experts are urging people to ignore expiry dates and check the condition of their food instead.
According to WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), 70% of the UK's household waste is made up of food waste. Despite efforts to cut down on this as a nation, there is still way too much edible food being thrown away.
So as well as neat TikTok hacks like freezing bacon, or brewing your own beer you can also save money by taking expiration dates with a pinch of salt, especially when it comes to these 15 food types...
Foods you can eat past their expiry date
Ashleigh Tosh, from MuscleFood, says, "Throwing away perfectly good food makes a huge impact on households. Best before dates are largely unnecessary and lead to people thinking they can't eat certain foods, even though they are usually completely fine."
With that in mind, here are the 15 foods that can stick around a little longer...
Many of us are probably guilty of keeping potatoes around way past their expiry date, leaving them to grow their potatoey tentacles in our cupboards. However, it turns out that's not such a bad thing after all!
Potatoes can last up to three months after their best-before date if they're stored in a cold, dark, and dry place. These conditions keep them a lot fresher for longer and mean mould is less likely to grow in or on them. If however, you store your potatoes at room temperature then they will last around two to three weeks past their best before.
We all know there's nothing more devastating than going to make your toast on a morning to find that your loaf has passed its best-before date. Well, don't pour that bowl of sad cereal just yet!
According to food experts, most bread can last up to seven days beyond its expiry date when stored properly in a cool, dry place, just keep an eye out for any mould spots. It's also a good idea to keep your bread in sealed containers or bags so that it doesn't go stale too quickly.
If your household can't agree on one cereal then your cupboards might be bursting with box after box of crunchy this and whole wheat that. Well don't worry, your many boxes are fine to hang onto weeks after they are due to expire.
The best way to keep them tasting fresh is by storing them in a dry, dark place preferably in an air-tight resealable container. That'll keep them from going soft or stale as well.
This may take you by surprise as dairy-based products are usually a little touch and go at the best of times but your yoghurts may be the exception. The food experts at MuscleFood say that as long as your yoghurts are sealed and unopened they can actually last up to two weeks beyond their suggested expiry date.
It's important to check for any potential punctures or slits in the yoghurt lid or container though, as no one wants to dig into a fluffy green yoghurt!
5. Frozen fruit and veg
Unlike yoghurt, this one may not come as a particularly big shock. In households across the world, there are freezers stuffed full of month-old foods, many passed their expiry date which will at some point probably be served for dinner.
Well, MuscleFood is here to tell you that's perfectly fine. Your frozen fruit and vegetables in particular can last for an extra eight to ten months past their expiry date. To keep them in the best condition possible make sure you know how to defrost a freezer, as a built-up icy freezer can massively affect your food's shelf life.
If you're a big fan of vinegar on your chips then the condiment in question may not even have the chance to go bad in your house. However, if you do find yourself hanging on to the same bottle for a while then you're still in the clear.
Unlike other more perishable foods, it takes vinegar a lot longer to expire or change at all. Should you have it for a particularly long time then the taste of the vinegar might alter but that is about it.
7. White rice
When looking to cut costs on our weekly food shop, buying in bulk can be a lifesaver. So if you've got a giant bag of white rice skulking somewhere in your kitchen, you're fine to chip away at it for a lot longer than you think.
As long as rice is sealed in an air-tight container, it can stay around for a long time. Just make sure you're giving it a good check over with each use, and should it start tasting not quite right then it's best to replace it.
Flour is extremely similar to rice in the sense that it can last a while longer past its expiry date if stored in a sealed container in a dark, dry place. This is why it's a great idea to transfer the flour from its bag into a Tupperware container, aka one of the ultimate kitchen essentials when you buy it.
9. Dry Pasta
Again, similar to flour and white rice, dried pasta can last for a significant time longer than what the supermarkets mark it as. In fact, dried pasta can last up to 24 months past its expiry date, bon appetit!
Just make sure you're not keeping fresh pasta past its expiry date as that will certainly not last two years.
10. Soy Sauce
The experts from MuscleFood recommend ignoring the label when it comes to soy sauce and instead inspecting the bottle for any signs of spoilage. They say, "Soy sauce has a long shelf life but if left open for an extended time, check for mould and bad odour."
It's also a good idea to keep your containers clean and wipe them down after every use, this way any external spills on the bottle can't go bad and contaminate the sauce inside.
Much like bread, biscuits have a surprisingly longer shelf life than most supermarkets give them credit for. Depending on the type of biscuit, and whether it has toppings or fillings, they can last for a lot longer than recommended if left unopened.
To ensure optimal taste and tea-dipping efficiency, keep your opened biscuits in an air-tight container like a tin or tub.
12. Peanut Butter
This may be another food that never gets the chance to outlive it's expiry date in your home but it definitely can should it need to! Peanut butter can last for up to a year past its labelled expiry date as long as it's not opened.
13. Dairy milk
Another surprising contender. Dairy milk, according to the food experts at MuscleFood, can last up to five days past its expiry date even when it's been opened and used.
They do however recommend giving the milk a smell before use, often we can't see it's gone off but we can certainly smell it.
14. Pre-packaged salad
Many of us are too busy or too lazy to prepare a salad from scratch each day so the pre-packaged offerings from the shops are the way to go. Not only are they convenient they're also more likely to last longer.
Instead of throwing it away according to its expiry date, look at the leaves and if there are only a few that are wilted throw them out and enjoy the rest.
15. Fresh Fruit
Surprise! It's not just the frozen variety that outlives its expiry date. MuscleFood's experts say that as long as there is no visible mould or apparent smell then fresh fruit is fine to eat past its expiry date too.
Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. She specialises in lifestyle writing, both on her personal blog and also for previous work placements such as northern-based magazine Northern Life. Throughout her studies she has developed a love for entertainment reviews, sex and relationship writing and human interest stories.
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