03/21/2014 10:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

5 Foods That Stay Good Past Their Expiration Dates


A 2013 report from Harvard Law School and the Natural Resources Defense Council states confusion over food dating has led 91 percent of Americans to throw away food prematurely.

Here are five items you shouldn't be so quick to toss.

  • 1 Eggs
    Pay no attention to the "Sell By" date on your carton -- it's meant to help retailers manage turnover and isn't a measure of freshness. Eggs should keep for three to five weeks in the refrigerator.
  • 2 Cereal
    Boxes typically come printed with a "Best Before" date, but it's a conservative estimate set by manufacturers for peak quality. Those Cheerios can stay fresh for up to three months if you refold the inner bag tightly.
  • 3 Apples
    Store your favorite reds in the fridge (place them in a plastic bag; poke a few holes to allow air to circulate), and they'll still be good to eat three weeks later.
  • 4 Deli Meat
    You can keep unopened packages of sandwich meat in your fridge for two weeks -- even if the "Sell By" date has come and gone.
  • 5 Bread
    Ignore the "Best By" or "Sell By" date. Placing your loaf in the fridge can extend freshness by two weeks.

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