These Foods Stay Fresh Beyond Their ‘Best By’ Date

Most people believe that the date printed on the package is the deadline to throw it out. But according to Paul VanLandingham, member of Food and Beverage Management of Johnson & Wales University, “best by” dates refer to food quality, not safety. So you can safely eat more foods beyond their expiration dates.

If the printed dates don’t determine food safety, how do you know when to clean out your fridge? Here, we’ll go over the real expiration dates for raw meat, spices, cooking oils, and dairy products based on information provided by food safety experts.

Dry Pasta Remains Good Two Years Past The Printed Date

Whole wheat penne pasta in a bowl
Chapeaux Marc/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Chapeaux Marc/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

According to the US Department of Health & Human services, dry pasta remains fresh for two years in the pantry. If you’ve already opened the package, you should consume it within one year. Eat By Date offers the same estimate.

Because fresh pasta often contains eggs, it only lasts one to two days in the fridge. Cooked pasta, whether dry or fresh, lasts up to a week in the fridge. If you want it to last longer, you can keep it in the freezer for six to eight months.