6 Foods You Can Eat After Their Sell by Date Expires

As a Boston restaurant plans to sell dishes that contain only items that are past their sell-by date, once again the issue of food labelling is put in the spotlight.


But does out-of-date food increase your chances of contracting food poisoning and other ailments, or is it just an excuse for companies to throw away perfectly good ingredients?


The Daily Table is a hybrid grocery run by former president of Trader Joe’s Doug Rauch. The store plans on selling prepared foods, fruits and vegetables that are all past their sell-by date.


In the United States alone, 40 percent of food is trashed because it has past a certain due date. But many claim this is nothing to do with food safety, but more to do with taste.


So what exactly can you eat after the date on the packaging has passed?

Expiration Date

Here are some of the foods which are perfectly safe to eat, even if they have been in the fridge for some time.


  1. Chocolate

    Chocolate can last a long time. But it often develops an off-putting white coating, known as the “bloom”, when it’s exposed to the air. This happens when some of the crystalline fat melts and rises to the top. It’s not mould and is still perfectly OK to eat. If you still don’t like the look of it you can still use it for things like cakes and cookies.

  2. Eggs

    Yes. Believe it or not, eggs last a lot longer than most people think. They can last between 3 to 5 weeks as long as they are kept at a temperature below 5C (41F).

  3. Tortilla Chips

    Tortilla chips certainly aren’t going to make you sick after a month. The thing you might notice though is they have begun to go a little stale. The best way to combat this is by keeping them fresh in the first place by storing them in an air-tight container. If it’s too late for that, try putting them in the oven for a short while with a little oil – this should make them crispy once again.

  4. Milk

    Rather like eggs, keeping milk in the right conditions will help it last much longer. Letting the milk sit out in the open will allow microbes in the air to spoil it. Even if milk starts to smell a little – there is no real danger of it making you sick.

  5. Yoghurt

    As yoghurt is basically made up of bacteria, allowing it to stay in the fridge for longer than you had planned shouldn’t do it, or you, any harm whatsoever. Even if mould appears on the surface; this can be scraped off and the product can still be enjoyed.

  6. Pasta

    Most dried foods are fine to eat several years after their purchase. With pasta, nutrients such as riboflavin are light sensitive, so it’s best to keep the product in a cool, dry and dark place.


Written and produced by legal blogger Matthew Crist in association with TSR Injury Law, experienced Minnesota personal injury law specialists.

2 thoughts on “6 Foods You Can Eat After Their Sell by Date Expires

  • November 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    The USDA itself has admitted that the expiration dates on packaging are not scientific and are in many cases almost random dates selected by manufacturers. If you store your food properly and it passes the smell test, the taste test, and the can is intact and not rusty, you should be OK. The USDA said that people almost never get sick off expired food. Use your best judgement.

  • November 6, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Many more can be eaten well past the 'sell date' such as cheese.


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