The foods you can safely eat after their best-before dates

Many items, including some dairy products, are safe to eat after the expiry date, like whiskey, potato chips, honey and jams which won't make you ill if you consume them. Photo / Getty Images
Many items, including some dairy products, are safe to eat after the expiry date, like whiskey, potato chips, honey and jams which won't make you ill if you consume them. Photo / Getty Images

About a third of the food produced in the world is thrown away needlessly every year - that's 1.3 billion tonnes.

The statistics are shocking, but we're often so scared of getting food poisoning that we would rather throw away perfectly good food than risk it, even if it looks and smells okay.

Dailymail.com has revealed exactly what can and can't be eaten after the best-before dates - and what to watch out for if your food is on the turn.

Alcohol

Alcohol takes years to go off, but most hard spirits such as vodka and whiskey won't make you ill if you drink them after their best before date has expired.

Beer is also safe to drink once it's gone off - but it probably won't taste very nice.

Watch out though: Cream-based liqueurs and anything that's been in the sun for too long may be dangerous once they're past their expiry date.

Chocolate

Praise be, you can indeed eat that old Mars Bar you've found slightly squashed down the side of your sofa.

Old chocolate may grow white spots - called 'bloom' - where the sugar has crystallised but it's perfectly safe to eat.

It may not taste as good as the day you bought it, but it won't make you ill.

Potato chips

Old chips may not be very crispy but they are safe to eat after the expiry date. Photo / Getty Images.
Old chips may not be very crispy but they are safe to eat after the expiry date. Photo / Getty Images.

They may not be as crispy as when they were newly bought, but old crisps aren't going to make you ill.

That's all thanks to the salt that often coats many potato snacks - but it's still best to eat them within three weeks of the expiry date passing.

Eggs

A report by food scientist Dana Gunders states that eggs can last for three to five weeks but they have to be kept at a temperature below 5C to prevent the growth of Salmonella enteritidis.

One way to check if your eggs are safe to eat is by putting them in a jug of cold water, according to Cosmopolitan magazine. If they sink, they're fresh; if they don't, throw them away.

If they sit on the bottom but point upwards, they're on the turn.

Milk

Thought all dairy products were risky to eat once their use-by date is up? Not so.

Sour milk isn't going to make you ill, and you can actually use it in a few recipes, such as scones, spice cake and pancakes, to use it up instead of needlessly wasting it.

But if you want to keep it fresher for longer, store it in the coldest part of your fridge at the back rather than in the fridge door.

Biscuits

Putting biscuits back into the oven if they're a little soft can reignite their crunch. Photo / Getty Images.
Putting biscuits back into the oven if they're a little soft can reignite their crunch. Photo / Getty Images.

Biting into a biscuit only to find it's gone stale and soft is surely one of life's most disappointing moments.

But the preservatives in these treats mean they're safe to eat long after the sell-by date has passed - up to two months after, in fact.

And there is a way to make them crunchy again. Try popping them in the oven, and they should be crisp in no time.

Honey and Jam

You may well have thrown away jars of honey when the bottom has formed a large sugary lump.

But the spread is still perfectly safe to eat, despite any crystallisation that has occurred.
The same applies to jam - the high levels of sugar preserve these items.

Tinned Food

Have you still got that tin of artisan beans from years ago that you've never had a reason to use at the back of your cupboard?

As long as it's been in a cool and dark place, it'll be fine to use for years and years.

Meat

Some meats can last for at least two days past their expiry, but it is important to make sure meat is stored in the coldest part of the fridge. Photo / Getty Images.
Some meats can last for at least two days past their expiry, but it is important to make sure meat is stored in the coldest part of the fridge. Photo / Getty Images.

Controversially, you can eat meat if it's past its expiry date for at least two days - but it is always worth having a smell to see if it's gone off before using, as off meat can make you incredibly ill.

Make sure it's been stored in a very cold part of your fridge, however.

Packaged salad leaves

Packets of salad seem to go off so quickly, leaving you with wilted and often slim leaves at the bottom of your fridge.

But don't throw them away too soon - they can be revived with some ice cold water.

They're safe to eat as long as there's no mould - otherwise they can be dangerous to consume.

Dry Pasta

It doesn't matter how long you've had those packets of spaghetti and penne in the cupboard, they'll be fine to use indefinitely.

The trick is to make sure you store it in an airtight container if you've opened a packet - that way, no moisture can creep in and make it go off.

- Daily Mail

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