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Old 12-31-2005, 03:14 PM   #1  
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Default surprising expiration dates

http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple...676079,00.html

Surprising Expiration Dates
A handy, who-knew guide for 77 foods, beauty products, and household goods

KeateCertain items in your house practically scream “toss me” when their prime has passed. That mysterious extra white layer on the Cheddar? A sure sign it needs to be put out of its misery. Chunky milk? Down the drain it goes.

But what about that jar of olives or Maraschino cherries that has resided in your refrigerator since before the birth of your kindergartner? Or the innumerable nonedibles lurking deep within your cabinets and closets: stockpiled shampoo and toothpaste, seldom-used silver polish? How do you know when their primes have passed?

With help from experts and product manufacturers, Real Simple has compiled a guide to expiration dates. These dates are offered as a rough guideline. The shelf lives of most products depend upon how you treat them. Edibles, unless otherwise indicated, should be stored in a cool, dry place. (With any food, of course, use common sense.) Household cleaners also do best in a dry place with a stable temperature. After the dates shown, beauty and cleaning products are probably still safe but may be less effective.
Food

Beer
Unopened: 4 months.


Brown sugar
Indefinite shelf life, stored in a moistureproof container in a cool, dry place.


Chocolate (Hershey bar)
1 year from production date


Coffee, canned ground
Unopened: 2 years
Opened: 1 month refrigerated


Coffee, gourmet
Beans: 3 weeks in paper bag, longer in vacuum-seal bag (After this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume.)
Ground: 1 week in sealed container


Coffee, instant
Unopened: Up to 2 years
Opened: Up to 1 month


Diet soda (and soft drinks in plastic bottles)
Unopened: 3 months from "best by" date.
Opened: Doesn't spoil, but taste is affected.


Dried pasta
12 months


Frozen dinners
Unopened: 12 to 18 months


Frozen vegetables
Unopened: 18 to 24 months
Opened: 1 month


Honey
Indefinite shelf life


Juice, bottled (apple or cranberry)
Unopened: 8 months from production date
Opened: 7 to 10 days


Ketchup
Unopened: 1 year (After this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume.)
Opened or used: 4 to 6 months (After this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume.)


Maple syrup, real or imitation
1 year


Maraschino cherries
Unopened: 3 to 4 years
Opened: 2 weeks at room temperature; 6 months refrigerated


Marshmallows
Unopened: 40 weeks
Opened: 3 months


Mayonnaise
Unopened: Indefinitely
Opened: 2 to 3 months from “purchase by” date (After this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume.)


Mustard
2 years (After this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume.)

Olives, jarred (green with pimento)
Unopened: 3 years
Opened: 3 months


Olive oil
2 years from manufacture date (After this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume.)


Peanuts
Unopened: 1 to 2 years unless frozen or refrigerated
Opened: 1 to 2 weeks in airtight container


Peanut butter, natural
9 months


Peanut butter, processed (Jif)
Unopened: 2 years
Opened: 6 months; refrigerate after 3 months


Pickles
Unopened: 18 months
Opened: No conclusive data. Discard if slippery or excessively soft.

Protein bars (PowerBars)
Unopened: 10 to 12 months. Check "best by" date on the package.


Rice, white
2 years from date on box or date of purchase


Salad dressing, bottled
Unopened: 12 months after "best by" date
Opened: 9 months refrigerated


Soda, regular
Unopened: In cans or glass bottles, 9 months from "best by" date
Opened: Doesn't spoil, but taste is affected


Steak sauce
33 months (After this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume.)


Tabasco
5 years, stored in a cool, dry place


Tea bags (Lipton)
Use within 2 years of opening the package


Tuna, canned
Unopened: 1 year from purchase date
Opened: 3 to 4 days, not stored in can


Soy sauce, bottled
Unopened: 2 years
Opened: 3 months (After this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume.)


Vinegar
42 months


Wine (red, white)
Unopened: 3 years from vintage date; 20 to 100 years for fine wines
Opened: 1 week refrigerated and corked


Worcestershire sauce
Unopened: 5 to 10 years (After this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume.)
Opened: 2 years

Household Products

Air freshener, aerosol
2 years


Antifreeze, premixed
1 to 5 years


Antifreeze, concentrate
Indefinite


Batteries, alkaline
7 years


Batteries, lithium
10 years


Bleach
3 to 6 months


Dish detergent, liquid or powdered
1 year


Fire extinguisher, rechargeable
Service or replace every 6 years


Fire extinguisher, nonrechargeable
12 years


Laundry detergent, liquid or powdered
Unopened: 9 months to 1 year
Opened: 6 months


Metal polish (silver, copper, brass)
At least 3 years


Miracle Gro, liquid
Opened: 3 to 8 years


Miracle Gro, liquid, water-soluble
Indefinite


Motor oil
Unopened: 2 to 5 years
Opened: 3 months


Mr. Clean
2 years


Paint
Unopened: Up to 10 years
Opened: 2 to 5 years


Spray paint
2 to 3 years


Windex
2 years


Wood polish (Pledge)
2 years

Beauty Products
All dates are from the manufacture date, which is either displayed on the packaging or can be obtained by calling the manufacturer's customer-service number.


Bar soap
18 months to 3 years


Bath gel, body wash
3 years


Bath oil
1 year


Body bleaches and depilatories
Unopened: 2 years
Used: 6 months


Body lotion
3 years


Conditioner
2 to 3 years


Deodorant
Unopened: 2 years
Used: 1 to 2 years
For antiperspirants, see expiration date


Eye cream
Unopened: 3 years
Used: 1 year


Face lotion
With SPF, see expiration date. All others, at least 3 years


Foundation, oil-based
2 years


Foundation, water-based
3 years


Hair gel
2 to 3 years


Hair spray
2 to 3 years


Lip balm
Unopened: 5 years
Used: 1 to 5 years


Lipstick
2 years


Mascara
Unopened: 2 years
Used: 3 to 4 months


Mouthwash
Three years from manufacture date


Nail polish
1 year


Nail-polish remover
Lasts indefinitely


Perfume
1 to 2 years


Rubbing alcohol
At least 3 years


Shampoo
2 to 3 years


Shaving cream
2 years or more


Tooth-whitening strips
13 months


Wash'n Dri moist wipes
Unopened: 2 years
Opened: Good until dried out
Written by Maya Kukes and Lisa Smith
March 2004
www.realsimple.com
For a subscription to Real Simple magazine please call 1-800-881-1172 or go to www.realsimple.com/subscriptions
© 2005 Time Inc. All rights reserved
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:13 PM   #2  
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Informative....I guess.
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Old 01-01-2006, 03:27 PM   #3  
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Soda, regular
Unopened: In cans or glass bottles, 9 months from "best by" date
Opened: Doesn't spoil, but taste is affected


uh, wow, that is just .. disgusting.
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