Most of us are guilty of wasting food because we're worried about adhering too rigidly to use-by dates for fear of getting ill.

While it's wise to pay attention when it comes to meat, fish and seafood, there are plenty of foods you can safely eat past the date on the packaging, reports the Daily Mail.

In a post for Sheer Luxe, Carla Griscti has revealed 13 foods you can safely eat past their use-by date, including those that will last for years after.

Canned produce

Most tinned food will come with a best-before date several years ahead, but you can add on extra time without any risk.

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As long as you store your undamaged cans somewhere cool away from direct light, then they can last up to four years.

Biscuits and crisps

To restore crispness to biscuits, place them on a paper towel on top of a plate and microwave for 40 seconds. Photo / Getty Images
To restore crispness to biscuits, place them on a paper towel on top of a plate and microwave for 40 seconds. Photo / Getty Images

Although your favourite snacks might lose some crunch once their best-by date has passed, it won't do you any harm to consume them a few weeks after.

To restore crispness, place them on a paper towel on top of a plate and microwave them for 40 seconds to evaporate the moisture that's made them go a little soggy, and allow them to cool before you eat.

Dried pasta

Dry pasta usually comes with a long shelf life in any case.

And provided you store it in an airtight container in a cool dry cupboard, there's no reason why you can't push the expiry date to three years.


Eggs

If you keep your eggs in the fridge, they're safe to eat up to three weeks after the use-by date.

Any unpleasant odour when you crack them is an indication they should be thrown away, and another way to check if they're still good is to drop them in a bowl of water.

Fresh eggs sink to the bottom, while bad ones float to the top. If the egg rests on the bottom and tilts upwards, it's a sign it's going off and should be eaten as soon as possible.


Frozen Vegetables

The temperature in your freezer prevents food going off, so unopened packets can, in theory, last indefinitely.

Eating frozen veg that's past its sell-by date shouldn't do you any harm. However the texture may change over time, so the real test will be in the taste.

Bread

The best-before date on bread is based on the assumption that you'll leave it out on the kitchen counter.

If you leave it out where it's exposed to higher temperatures, mould will start to form within a few days. However, you can make your loaf last up to two weeks if you keep it in the fridge.

Pickles

The vinegar used in pickling means you can eat pickles well past their use by date. Photo / Getty Images
The vinegar used in pickling means you can eat pickles well past their use by date. Photo / Getty Images

Preserved foods such as pickles, sauerkraut and beetroot have been through a process of salting and are stored in a very acidic vinegar, which prevents the growth of bacteria.

Pickles can last for up to two years past their sell-by date if they're stored in an airtight jar in the fridge, although they may start to lose some of their crunch.

Jams and chutneys will also still be safe to eat past their sell-by date.

Yogurt

As long as it's not been opened, you usually have up to two weeks after the sell-by date to eat yogurt before it starts to go off.

Mould can start to form if it's been open for a while, but as long as there's no sign of this and it doesn't smell bad, then you're on safe ground.

Chocolate

As a rule of thumb, as long as your chocolate tastes fine then there's no harm in eating it long after the sell-by date.

Sometimes, a white film begins to form on older chocolate, which is caused by the sugar crystallising, but it won't do you any harm to eat.

You can also chop it up to use as chocolate chips in baking or grate over icecream.

Hard cheese

Mould can't penetrate harder cheeses such as parmesan and cheddar. Photo / Getty Images
Mould can't penetrate harder cheeses such as parmesan and cheddar. Photo / Getty Images

You might be tempted to throw away your block of cheese at the first sign of mould, but it's only dangerous on soft cheese such as brie or ricotta, as it can send out threads that you can't see.

Mould can't penetrate harder cheeses such as parmesan and cheddar. So you can safely enjoy hard cheese that's past its use-by date once you've removed any growths.

Salad leaves

There's no reason to bin your out-of-date salad leaves.
As long as they haven't gone mouldy, then you're perfectly safe to tuck in.

You can revive any limp looking leaves with a few splashes of water.

Spirits

Unlike wine, spirits have an extremely long shelf life provided they're stored properly.

Whiskey, for instance, only ages in the cask, but not in a bottle. You should store it at 15-19 degrees in a dark environment, and make sure it's upright so it doesn't come into contact with the cork.

When taken care of properly, whiskey can be kept indefinitely, while the same goes for gin and vodka.

Take care with cream liqueurs however, that will start to spoil over time.

Milk

When it comes to milk, as long as it tastes and smells fine then there's no need to worry too much about the sell-by date.

Keeping it sealed in the fridge will maintain freshness, and a carton usually stays in a drinkable state for up to a week past the best before date.