Thursday, January 17, 2013

Is That Milk OK To Drink And Other Eat-By-Date Tips

Every time I use milk, I look at the "Use By" date and I smell it, even if it hasn't met its expiration date. But milk, like some foods, are actually OK to use after that date, but how long can I really keep it before I have to put on the gas mask and rubber gloves? If you can't find the "Use By" date, look for the printed date--or go by your purchase date--and use these unofficial guidelines.

Source: Source:

(If you want to know about food safety, visit the Centers for Disease Control website.)

Fresh Eggs

Eggs, when stored properly in the fridge, are good 3-4 weeks after the printed date.


Unopened, real butter, lasts for about month one in the fridge. If opened, plan to use it within 2 weeks after the printed date. To extend its shelf life to 6-9 months, store it in the freezer.

Fresh Oranges

These refreshing citrus fruits will last 2-3 weeks on the counter, and 1-2 months in the fridge.

Fresh Apples

You know what they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctors away.” So keep some on hand: fresh apples in the pantry will last 2-4 weeks and 1-2 months in the fridge.

Deli Meats

Fresh deli meats should be use 5-6 days from the purchase date. If you buy the prepackaged deli meats, use it within 7-10 days after opening or store unopened packages in the freezer for up to 8 months.


Breads from the bakery should be eaten with 2-3 days of purchase, packaged breads up to 7 days. In the freezer: 6 months.


Cereal is one of those foods that my Hubby and I don’t eat regularly but we always seem to have boxes of it in the pantry. An unopened box of cereal will last 6-8 months in the pantry after the printed date. If opened, it will be good for 4-6 months.

Packaged Tea

I drink tea and always have an assortment lying around. Packaged tea should last 6 to 12 months after the printed date and 1-2 years in the freezer. I didn’t even know you could freeze tea!


Hubby and I tend to have sparkling wine and champagne on hand. It’s a great go-to drink for drop-by visitors and brunch mimosas! Both will last 3-4 years after purchase date, and if you happen to have vintage champagne on hand, it will last you even longer—20+ years. So, stock up!

And Milk?

I use skim and the guideline says you should be able to use it 7 days after the printed date. BUT, I’m still going to smell it and hopefully the answer is obvious whether I go ahead and pour it into my coffee or not!

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