Foods With the Longest Expiration Dates

Foods That Last At Least A Year

Every house has food in the pantry that has been there for weeks if not months, but according to food experts, you may want to think twice before throwing those items out. Many common food products last far longer than you might think. “We throw out tons of food each year in this country because people don’t understand how long they can keep things,” said Jo-Ann Heslin, a certified nutritionist and author of The Complete Food Counter. As Heslin and other nutritionists explain, consumers generally assume that foods should not be eaten after the use-by date on the package, but in reality, this date simply indicates the period of time when the food tastes best, not the date when it will suddenly make you sick. It’s true that fresh foods like fruits and vegetables should not be consumed much after the use-by date has passed, as these products generally spoil quickly (unless frozen), but for countless packaged products, the consumption window can last for years. “For connoisseurs who have a real taste for a certain food, it’s probably a good idea to use it by the best by date, but nothing bad will happen to you if you don’t,” said Keri Gans, a registered dietician and author of The Small Change Diet. The general recipe for longevity, according to these experts, is for the food to be low in liquids, sugar and oil, all of which have the potential to mold and spoil the food, or to have “lots and lots” of preservatives, which keep the food fresh longer. So if you’re looking for groceries to buy in bulk and store in your pantry, these products are your best bet. Photo Credit: Muffet