To Throw or Keep – Foods After Their Expiry Dates

By chef Eric Low

Yikes! Your favourite can of mushroom soup just officially expired two days ago! Do you throw it out? Can it still be eaten?

1. Canned Goods

The expiry date listed can be up to three years from the time it was packed, but if the can has been stored in a cool, dry place and is free from dents and rust, the contents can still be consumed for at least another year.

2. Eggs

Some households might not be able to finish a 12-count carton of eggs within the expiry date, but there’s a way to check if the eggs are still safe to eat. Place them in a bowl of water to check their buoyancy. A sinking egg is good to eat; a floating egg means it belong in a bin.

3. Frozen Food

Freezing temperatures prevent food from turning bad, so they can last long beyond their expiration date. Freezer burns caused by dehydration can affect the taste of some food, but it is still safe to eat.

4. Cookies, chocolate, chips, cereal and crackers

The taste, smell and texture of stale cookies, chocolate, chips, cereal and crackers is quite obvious, especially when the oils in the cookie and chips turn bad after a long period of time. But if the cookie doesn’t crumble, and the chips don’t smell, it’s safe to eat. The white substance on expired chocolate, also known as sugar bloom, is also safe for consumption.

5. Bread

The Best Buy date on fresh bread applies to bread stored in room temperature. Extend the shelf life by storing bread in the freezer. As long as there’s no mould, and it’s not special bread with extra ingredients such as cheese, onions or filling, it should be safe to eat.