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Which Foods Should You or Shouldn’t You Keep Past the Expiration Date?

Photo by alisafarov –

Canned Food

Pretty much every apocalyptic movie has the protagonists eating canned foods, even years after the fabric of society has crashed. But how realistic is that?

In one study, scientists actually put that theory to the test by opening a 40-year-old can of corn. What they found inside was really surprising. The food looked perfectly fresh and hadn’t lost any nutritional value.

Old canned food seems to be five but, paradoxically, newer ones not so much. Especially when we’re talking about high acid foods! Avoid consuming canned tomatoes or grapefruits after 18 months. Low acid food can be consumed up to five years after purchase.

If the can is leaky, bulging, or badly dented, avoid it- yes, even in the event of an apocalypse.


You can ignore the expiration date on peanuts as long as they aren’t soft or rancid. If you see any mold or if they’re shriveled, discolored or if the shell is broken, you should be safe and just throw them away instead.

Peanuts that are grown and imported from Africa may contain the fungus Aspergillus flavus. This fungus can develop toxins that cause liver cancer- that’s why you have to be careful. Even though these peanuts have to be thoroughly inspected before they make it to the shelves, always check them out before you dig in!


Deli meats, including salami and ham, are OK for three to five days after opening, says the USDA. Even if the salami has while molding on the surface, that’s nothing to be worried about since it’s a traditional feature and it doesn’t mean it has gone bad.

In terms of whole salami and chorizo, you can keep these for longer as long as you haven’t cut through them. If they have any use-by dates on them, these are just guidelines and may not be accurate.

So, now what you’ve made it to the end of our article, which foods are you ready to throw out?

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