Four times you can ignore the expiration dates on food

If you want to skip a trip to the grocery store, you may still be able to eat food in your pantry or fridge, even if it's past the expiration date.

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Four foods are usually okay to eat after the date printed on the package, but you still need to make sure it's safe.

Canned Foods

Food items in cans can last longer than the expiration date. You want to look out for any dents or rust. Also, watch out for any bubbling or signs of botulism once you open the can.

Dairy Products

Foods like yogurt, milk, and cheese are usually safe until you see signs of spoilage. Milk can last five days past the sell-by date. Hard cheese will last longer than soft cheeses. Foul odors, curdling, or even mold are sure signs the dairy is no longer good.


Pasta, cereal, cookies or more are usually safe to eat, even if they taste stale. You'll want to trash them if you see any tears in the package.

Frozen Foods

Fruits and vegetables in your freezer are also safe past their expiration dates. Freezer burn won't affect them. However, you don't want to defrost an item and refreeze it because that can be dangerous.

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