18 Foods That Can Last Past Their Expiration Date

Are you a stickler for expiration dates? With certain food items, you don’t have to be! In this article, we’ll uncover 18 foods that you can safely eat after their expiration date, so you can stop throwing things away unnecessarily.

Canned Foods

Photo Credit: FotoDuets/Shutterstock.

We all know that canned foods have a long shelf life due to the canning process and vacuum-sealing. However, these foods are also safe to eat for years past their best-by date! The only thing that may be affected is the flavor. Common examples include canned corn, beans, fruit, mushrooms, pasta sauce, chicken, and chili.

Cereal and Granola

Photo Credit: baibaz/Shutterstock.

If you’ve got a box of cereal or granola sitting in your cupboard that’s a few days past its expiration date, you’re good to eat it! This type of food can last 1–3 weeks past the expiration date because it is dry and low in moisture, which contributes to its stability. Just check for staleness or unusual odors before consumption​.

Dry Ingredients

Photo Credit: SergeyKlopotov/Shutterstock.

As shared by CNET, “When it comes to pantry staples like flour, sugar or baking soda, you might have more time to make those cookies than you thought.” Items like these, along with salt and other seasonings, can typically last 1–2 months past their expiration date due to their low moisture content. So long as there is no pest infestation or unnatural smell, they’re usually safe to use/eat.

Hard Cheese

Photo Credit: Sea Wave/Shutterstock.

Hard cheese like parmesan or pecorino is typically safe to eat weeks past its expiration date. The cheese’s low moisture content reduces bacterial growth. Gourmet Cheese Detective says, “So long as you don’t gag from a sharp ammonia aroma, the cheese is probably fine.” And if there is any, you can simply remove surface mold before consumption​.


Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

This may surprise you, but milk can often last up to a week past its expiration date. Refrigeration is key, of course, and you must check for sourness or off odors when you go to use it. It’s safe to drink as long as it doesn’t smell or taste sour​. Your nose is your best friend when it comes to telling if milk has gone bad.


Photo Credit: Melica/Shutterstock.

Nuts last between weeks to months past their expiration date. However, they are pretty high in fat, which can go rancid, so check for unusual odors or appearance before you decide to snack on them. You should also store nuts in the fridge or freezer when they’re going out of date to extend their shelf life​


Photo Credit: Timolina/Shutterstock.

Dry pasta can last up to two years past expiration! It’ll likely lose some of its taste over time, but it’s still perfectly healthy to eat as long as it doesn’t smell or look discolored. As shared by PureWow, however, “Fresh pasta is a different story. It contains eggs and moisture, both of which make it a perishable food.”

Root Vegetables

Photo Credit: ulrich22/Shutterstock.

These vegetables, which include carrots, beets, parsnips, and potatoes, can last several weeks in cool, dark environments. Despite the fact that they typically have quite short expiration dates, you can still eat them as long as there’s no significant change in their appearance, smell, or texture.

Leafy Greens

Photo Credit: Happy Moments/Shutterstock.

Bagged salads and greens often have a best-by date but can last beyond this​. In fact, you can not only eat leafy greens that have started to go bad but can even revive them by submerging them in ice water for 5–10 minutes. As a general tip, store washed and spun greens in a fridge to lengthen their lifespan.

Dried Beans

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Dried beans, including legumes like lentils, are safe to eat well past their expiration if stored in a cool, dry place. They’re actually considered non-perishable, though their nutritional value will start to diminish after a few years. Nevertheless, you could still eat them after 10 years if you wanted!

Olive Oil

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Olive oil and other kinds of oil can last past their expiration date, but the quality might decrease over time. To extend its shelf life, store oil in a cool, dark place. You can check for rancidity by smelling it and tasting a little before use.


Photo Credit: Nadezhda Murinets/Shutterstock.

As explained by AllRecipes, “Food goes bad because of harmful bacteria that multiply and eventually spoil food. Thankfully, these bacteria hate acid, like the vinegar in pickle brine. It slows the growth of harmful bacteria and even kills some other unwelcome contaminants.” Unopened jars of pickles can last for years if stored correctly. Simply keep them in a cool, dark place.


Photo Credit: muratart/Shutterstock.

Eggs are generally safe to eat up to 30 days past their expiration date. However, refrigeration is crucial. Keep an eye on the date on the carton, and always smell your eggs once they’ve cracked to see if they’re bad. A bad egg will smell like sulfur.


Photo Credit: ivan_kislitsin/Shutterstock.

Chocolate can last months past its expiration date. The quality might decrease, becoming more brittle or developing white spots over time, but it’s still safe. According to Hotel Chocolat, “The reason as to why chocolate doesn’t go off in the same way as a lot of other foods is because it doesn’t contain any water, which is what bacteria needs to thrive and grow. As bacteria can’t live in chocolate, chocolates don’t have a use by date.”


Photo Credit: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock.

Condiments like mustard last years past their expiration dates when unopened. And, when opened, refrigeration extends their shelf life. Simply check for changes in texture and color, as these are indicators of spoilage. Otherwise, you’re good to keep using your mustard!

Cookies and Crackers

Photo Credit: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock.

Especially if unopened, cookies and crackers can last well past their expiration dates. Even when open, they can last quite a while if stored well. This type of food is highly processed and, therefore, generally has a longer shelf life. Just check for staleness or off odors before eating them.


Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Honey can remain stable for years beyond its best-by date. This is because it is extremely acidic, inhibiting its spoilage. We suggest using it within two years for the best quality, but it should still be safe afterward​ so long as it doesn’t have visible mold or smell fermented.

Marinara Sauce

Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.

Another food that lasts 1–4 weeks past its expiration date is marinara sauce. The acidic nature of the tomatoes that make up the sauce extends its shelf life. Simply store it properly and check for spoilage before use​—a sour or rotten scent is a key indicator.

Read More: 17 Religious Facts People Get Wrong All the Time

Photo Credit: Viorel Sima/Shutterstock.

Religious beliefs and practices are often misunderstood, leading to common misconceptions. Some are just too general, others are downright out there. So, we’ll be correcting 17 widely circulated ‘facts’ about world religions.

17 Religious Facts People Get Wrong All the Time

Why People Aren’t Religious Anymore: 15 Simple Reasons

Photo Credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock.

As society evolves, so does our approach to spirituality. This article looks at the subtle yet profound shift from traditional religious adherence to a more personal, evidence-based belief system.

Why People Aren’t Religious Anymore: 15 Simple Reasons

17 American Attractions That Not Even Americans Want to Visit

Photo Credit: Jihan Nafiaa Zahri/Shutterstock.

The United States of America—land of the free, home of the brave, and the location of some of the most ‘unique’ tourist attractions you’ll ever lay eyes on.

Get ready to chuckle, scratch your head, and maybe even facepalm as we look at 17 American attractions that not even Americans think are worth visiting.

17 American Attractions That Not Even Americans Want to Visit

20 Things We Did When We Were Young That We Regret Now

Photo Credit: Kues/Shutterstock.

It’s easy to say hindsight is 20/20, but what advice would you really give your younger self? Here are 20 things that most people did when they were young that they regret today.

20 Things We Did When We Were Young That We Regret Now

17 Things That Used to Be Highly Respected But Isn’t Anymore

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Many things in the world used to be well-respected before turning into complete jokes for various reasons. An internet survey recently asked people, “What is something that was once highly respected but is now a complete joke?” Here are the top 20 answers:

17 Things That Used to Be Highly Respected But Isn’t Anymore