Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

when is it good... and when isn't it.

a recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

I thought that this list was worthy of posting. I picked up the information off several sites, and added my own 2-cents worth. Some of these have to do with expiry dates, and others manufacturing dates. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves Bunches
prep time 5 Min
method No-Cook or Other

Ingredients For when is it good... and when isn't it.

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How To Make when is it good... and when isn't it.

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    Most of these dates, deal with how long you can keep something past its expiry date, and some have more to do with when the item was created, packaged, manufactured, etc.
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    Bacon: Can last up to two weeks if unopened and up to seven days if opened. The article didn’t state whether the bacon was uncured, or loaded up with sulfides. Uncured bacon will not last as long, but it’s better for you. And if you freeze it, it will probably outlive you. One more thing, bacon does not last very long around this establishment.
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    Deli/Lunch Meats: Can last up to two weeks if unopened and between three and five days after opening. It’s best to get your deli meats sliced right at the counter, and avoid the packaged variety. First off, you don’t know how long it’s been hanging out on the shelf; in addition, you don’t know what extra chemicals they added to the package.
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    Eggs: Can last between three and five weeks from the day they came out of the chicken. Which begs the age-old question: What came first, the chicken or the egg?   How to tell if an egg is fresh: Just fill a bowl with cold water and place your eggs in the bowl. If they sink to the bottom and lay flat on their sides, they're very fresh.  If they're a few weeks old but still good to eat, they'll stand on one end at the bottom of the bowl. If they float to the surface, they're no longer fresh enough to eat.
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    Ground Meats: Can last between three and four days after grinding. If you use a lot of ground meats, then I would suggest purchasing a meat grinder, or getting a grinder attachment for your food process. Grinding your own meat is cheaper per pound, healthier for you, and cooks better than its packaged cousin.
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    Sweet Breads (liver, tongue, brain, kidneys, heart, chitterlings): Can last between three and four days. When I go to my butcher, I don’t usually see a big rush for these items, but you never can tell.
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    Poultry: Can last between three and four days, but the fresh taste goes downhill fast. 
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    Beef, Veal, Pork and Lamb: Can last between three and five days. 
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    Sausage: Can last between one and two days, after expiry.
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    Apple and Cranberry Juices: Can last up to eight months, if left unopened. And remember, when you open a bottle of juice, never drink from the bottle, and then put it back into the fridge.
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    Brown Sugar: Can last indefinitely when stored properly in a moisture-proof container in a cool, dry place like your pantry. To keep your brown sugar moist, place a slice of apple or bread in with the sugar. It will keep the sugar moist, and it won’t go moldy.
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    Chocolate (candy bars): Can last up to four months… Not around my kitchen.
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    Coffee Grounds: Can last two years if unopened, one month if opened. Studies have shown that freezing coffee does little to extend its shelf life.
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    Dry Pasta: Can last up to 12 months. In my opinion, you should make your own pasta. It’s fresher, and it tastes better. Just ask my Aunt Josephine.
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    Frozen Dinners: Can last between 12 and 18 months if unopened. Frozen dinners are an abomination from the pits of the evil one.
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    Frozen Vegetables: Can last between 18 and 24 months if unopened. Although I prefer fresh veggies, if I have to choose between frozen and canned; frozen wins. The one big exception to that is tomatoes; there are some really good “canned” tomatoes on the market.  
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    Honey: Can last like forever. Studies show that you should purchase honey produced by local bees, because the honey they produce is better attuned to your bio-system.
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    Ketchup: Can last up to one year if unopened and between four and six months if opened or used. It’s easy and fun to make your own ketchup. It’s healthier for you, because it won’t contain all those nasty preservatives, and you can tweak it to your own individual tastes.
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    Maple Syrup: Can last up to one year. Not the way I use it… It’s lucky to survive a few weeks. Always get “real” maple syrup, and not the sugary substitute in the bottle shaped like a lady.
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    Mayonnaise: Can last indefinitely if unopened and between two and three months from "purchase by" date if opened. Do you know why it lasts indefinitely? It’s because it’s stuffed with tons of chemicals. If you make your own, it will only last five to seven days, but it’s totally worth the time and effort.
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    Mustard: Can last up to two years. Keep in a cool, dry place, and then store in the fridge after opening.
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    Olive Oil: Can last up to two years from the manufactured date. While I agree with this assessment, you will notice a dramatic drop in the flavor of extra-virgin olive after about one year. Remember to keep it in a cool place, away from sunlight.
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    Peanut Butter: Can last up to nine months if natural and up to two years if unopened for processed peanut butters. Natural is better than processed. I’m trying my best to reduce as many processing chemicals as possible. FYI: If you own a Vitamix, you can make you own peanut butter with just a cup or two of nuts… Fresh… No chemicals.
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    Salad Dressing: Can last up to 12 months from "best by" date if unopened and up to nine months refrigerated if opened. Okay, I know that I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but you should make you own salad dressings. They won’t last as long (a week or two, depending on ingredients); however, they taste so much better than store-bought.  
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    Bottled Soy Sauce: Can last up to two years if unopened. Although you don’t have to, after you open the bottle store it in your fridge. I like soy sauce; however, if you want a gluten-free alternative, I suggest using Tamari sauce.
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    Steak Sauce: Can last up to 33 months. This one surprised me; however, it just means that they are loaded with preservatives.
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    White Rice: Can last up to two years from the date on the box. Keep it cool, and in a dry place.
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    Bar Soap: Can last between 18 months and three years. If you have been using a bar of soap for three years… you’re not showing enough.
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    Wrinkle Cream: Can Last up to three years. I f used after three years, it will begin creating more wrinkles.
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    Body Wash: Can last up to three years.
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    Deodorant: Can last up to two years if unopened. And why exactly do you have it, if you’re not using it… Open that thing and USE IT… PLEASE!! 
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    Dish Detergent: Can last up to one year.
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    Face Lotion/Moisturizer: At least three years; however, if it contains sun block (SFP) it will have an expiry date, and it should be tossed when that date arrives.
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    Hair Conditioner: Can last between two and three years. We love silky, soft hair.
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    Lip Balm: Can last up to five years if unopened. But who needs it if it’s not opened.
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    Mouthwash: Can last up to three years from manufacture date. FYI: Most commercial mouthwashes are pretty much useless.
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    Perfume and Cologne: Can last between one and two years. I think that longevity would greatly depend on the quality of the perfume. If you purchase your perfume at your local hardware store, then it’s probably not going to last very long.
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    Shampoo: Can last between two and three years. Suggestion… shave your head bald, and then you won’t need any shampoo.
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    Shaving Cream: Can last up to two years or longer. Forget shaving cream… grow a beard like ZZ Top. 
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    Alkaline Batteries: Can last up to seven years. Studies have shown that placing batteries in the freezer does absolutely nothing to extend their lifespan. Oh well, at least we tried.
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    Bleach: Can last between three and six months. The reason for the short shelf life is primarily the flimsy packaging used.
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    Fire Extinguisher: Can last up to 12 years. If you have any, they should be checked on a regular basis. Most fire stations will perform the service for free.
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    Laundry Detergent: Can last between nine months and one year unopened. Dry detergent will last longer than liquid.
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    Lithium Batteries: Can last up to ten years. Yeah, but after ten years, you'll probably forget where you stored them.
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    Motor Oil: Can last between two and five years unopened.
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    Paint: Lasts up to ten years unopened. Always keep paints away from extremes of heat and cold.
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    Refrigerators: Can last between 15 and 30 years, though newer models are more energy efficient than models pushing replacement age.  
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    Smoke Detector: Replace batteries when you hear chirping, but the unit itself should be replaced every 10 years. FYI: Every few months, use the extension on your vacuum cleaner, and remove any dust that may have accumulated.
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    Spray Paint: Can last between two and three years. That is if the nozzle doesn’t clog first.  Tip: When finished using a spray paint, turn it upside down, and spray once or twice, until the nozzle is just spraying air… That should keep it from clogging.
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    Washer & Dryer Machines: Can last between 10 and 15 years. Now, that’s a lot of clean clothes.
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    Dishwasher: Can last up to 10 or 11 years.
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    Stove Top and Oven: Can last up to 20 years. That depends a lot of use, and quality of the product.
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    Tires: Can last up to six years with good up-keep, so remember to rotate your tires at least once a year and they could last the better part of a decade. If your tires are lasting a decade, you’re not doing very much driving.
  • Very Handsome
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.