Truths about food expiration dates

Most expiration dates are bullshit. We know this. And when it comes to food expiration dates, they have little to nothing to do with the safety of the food. They basically are the manufacturer's estimation of when the food won't taste as good as it should. With that in mind, the New York Times' J. Kenji López-Alt looked at "The Food Expiration Dates You Should Actually Follow." A few highlights:

  • "Vinegars, honey, vanilla or other extracts, sugar, salt, corn syrup and molasses will last virtually forever."
  • "White flour is almost certainly fine to use, no matter its age."
  • "Dried beans and lentils will remain safe to eat for years after purchase, but they'll become tougher and take longer to cook as time goes on."
  •  Salad dressings will last for months or over a year.
  • "It takes a long time for eggs to go bad."
  • "Want longer-lasting milk? Look for 'ultrahigh temperature,' or 'UHT,' on the label."