So you’re thinking of cleaning your kitchen for the first time since 2007. Contrary to what most bachelors and students believe, a lot of fridge and pantry staples don’t necessarily last forever, but they might last longer than the date on the jar. While you should always pay attention to expiration dates, which denote the date the manufacturer can guarantee the safety of a product, most kitchen staples offer quality-related Best Before Dates (BBD). These are estimates that pertain specifically to how long an unopened food product will retain its peak level of quality, but with proper storage, we extend its delicious life! And the best news? We did the deep dive into the pantry and fridge so you hopefully won’t have to.
Remember, use these timelines as an estimate, but ultimately, use your senses to make the final judgment call. Smell and inspect everything before eating; check your bottles, cans, and packages; and when in doubt, just throw it out.