Food Expiration Date

“Germs don’t have a food expiration date,” a doctor once told me. We were discussing outdated pet medications, and the discussion went to food. “Milk doesn’t go bad at the stroke of midnight on its food expiration date.”

After that conversation, I didn’t take the expiration date on foods as serious but I still use common sense.

I researched a website called, where they had a nice chart that had various foods and when you should cook or freeze them by. They said to follow the “use-by” date, but if it’s a “sell-by” date, there is more leniency.

Food Expiration Date and Some product dates were:

  • Beef: cook or freeze 3-5 days after purchase
  • Ground meat: cook or freeze two days after purchase
  • Milk: drink until 5-7 days past the cell date (don’t use if sour smell)
  • Soft cheese: good one week unopened or two weeks for cream cheese

I’ll push any food to its limit. One time I baked brownies with eggs that were over a month old and the brownies tasted great.

Chart information obtained from Post by Kate Valdovinos.

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