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Expiration dates tell consumers the last day a product is safe to consume. Best before date on the other hand tells you that the food is no longer in its perfect shape from that date. It may just lose its freshness, taste, aroma or nutrients. It does not necessarily mean that the food is no longer safe to eat.

Here's how long these foods are safe to eat after their best before date, if they're stored properly:


•Milk, opened or unopened: 7 days.

•Yogurt, opened or unopened: 1 to 2 weeks.

•Butter, opened or unopened: 4 weeks.

•Eggs, in shell: 3 weeks.

•Salsa, opened: 1 to 2 weeks.

•Hummus, opened: 4 to 6 days.

•Crackers: 2 to 4 weeks.


Oats : If stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry place, most oats should last one to two years

Bread. It might get stale, but bread past its expiration date can be safely eaten, even if there is some slight mold on it. If the bread smells sour or spoiled, don't eat it, but you can always slice a moldy end off and enjoy the rest of the loaf.

Grains : grains last as much as a year after their sell-by dates.

Canned goods : Most expiration dates on foods in cans range from 1 to 4 years—but keep the food in a cool, dark place and the cans,  undented and in good condition, and you can likely safely double that shelf life from 3 to up to 6 years. According to the USDA, high-acid canned goods, like tomatoes and citrus fruits, will keep for up to 1½ years. Low-acid canned goods—that's pretty much everything else, including vegetables, meat, and fish—will last for up to 5 years.

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