Are You Throwing Out Food Before It Goes Bad?

The Mountain Life Team Blogger August 9, 2010

Milk lasts beyond its Sell By dateJust because the expiration date has passed, that doesn’t mean that the food is spoiled. It’s a deep-seated misconception that results in the average American household wasting 14% of all food purchases.

The estimated cost of waste like that totals in the billions.

The data comes from a study commissioned by ShelfLifeAdvice.com, a website devoted to helping households cut food bills by providing better information of how to properly store food; of how food expiration dates work; and, by defining what “use by”, “sell by” and other product dates actually mean.

Among survey participants, women fared better than men, older people fared better than younger people, and married people fared better than non-married people.  Overall, however, there’s room for better understanding.

For example:

  • Milk will remain safe for about a week after the “sell by” date. It’s safe to drink beyond that, but the taste may change for the worse.
  • Cottage Cheese will remain safe for about 2 weeks after the “sell by” date.
  • Mayonnaise will last for up to 4 months after opening, when kept cold

And, perhaps the biggest surprise, is that eggs, if properly refrigerated, will remain fresh for up to 5 weeks after the “sell by” date on the carton.

Read the survey’s complete results on the ShelfLifeAdvice.com website, including facts you may not have known about keeping your food beyond its expiration date.  What you learn will keep you from pitching food prematurely, and help you save money at the grocery store.

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