How Long Does Fridge Food Last Past Its Expiration Date?

Fridge Food InfographicAhhh, Thrillist. They’ve done it again.

One of my most favored web sites, Thrillist, put together a handy infographic showing how long common foods last in your refrigerator after that relatively meaningless expiration dates they bear. Got bologna? Apparently it’s still good for an additional 1 to 2 weeks after it has “expired.” Eggs last another 3 to 4 weeks. And Worcestershire sauce continues to rock and roll for 2 to 3 years. Check out the full-size infographic here.

This fabulous Thrillist post used information from a previously undiscovered (for me anyway) web site that is purely, simply wicked-awesome: EatByDate. The folks at EatByDate have a mission to “offer information to educate consumers on how long food really lasts past its printed date while providing answers and analysis related to food shelf life, food safety, food storage, food substitutions and many other food related questions.” You must get your eyeballs on this site.

Use the site’s directory or search function to learn how long a food or beverage lasts past its printed date. But that’s not all you’ll discover. You’ll find out the best ways to store it, how to tell if it’s gone bad, how to extend its shelf life, and other interesting tidbits that will make you the rock star of your next cocktail party. Here’s what I learned about butta’.

  • Unopened butter lasts about a month after its expiration date when stored in the frig. Pop it in the freezer, and it’ll keep 6 to 9 months longer.
  • Spoiled butter will be pale and possibly moldy, and it will be either too hard or too soft to spread. It can also stink.
  • You can store butter on the counter, but it’s like a sponge and will soak up the flavors around it. So put it in something airtight for best flavor.

The site also boasts a substitution guide. Out of ketchup? Mix a cup of tomato sauce with 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon sugar. Drank all the red wine, including that 1/2 cup you needed for your stew? Substitute 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar. How handy.

I knew those expiration dates were more marketing ploy than meaningful. Now I have an infographic and new favorite web site to help me make sense of the nonsense and waste less food.

Go check out the EatByDate web site, and let me know what you think!

Infographic Credit: Thrillist

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4 thoughts on “How Long Does Fridge Food Last Past Its Expiration Date?”

  1. Excellent timing! A couple of days ago my daughter asked how long butter lasts outside of the fridge; she’d left it out overnight. I didn’t realize it was a quality issue and not a spoilage issue.

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