Shelf Life: How Long Does Your Food Last?

Do you ever wonder if food really lasts that long?
There’s no doubt that food has become a huge part of our lives.
From breakfast through to dinner, there’s always something to eat.
And while eating out is convenient, it also means that we don’t get to enjoy the freshness of home cooked meals.
This blog post is designed to answer the question ‘how long does food last?<

What Does Shelf Life of Food Mean?

Shelf life refers to how long a product can be stored before it becomes unsafe to consume. It is important to understand shelf life because if you buy something that is past its expiration date, you could get sick from eating it. There are two types of shelf life: 1 Product shelf life – This is the length of time a product can be safely stored after being manufactured. For instance, milk can be stored for about 2 weeks after it is packaged.

Perishable food

Perishable food includes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, cheese, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. These items are perishable because they spoil easily. They are usually sold in packages that are designed to protect them from contamination and deterioration. Perishable food needs to be refrigerated or frozen to slow down the process of decay.

Shelf-stable food

Shelf stable food does not spoil quickly. It is stored under conditions where it can remain safe for a longer period of time. This type of food is typically packaged in airtight containers such as jars, cans, bottles, and boxes.

How Is Shelf Life Estimated?

Shelf life is estimated using two methods. One method is based on the expiration date printed on the package. The other method is based on the manufacturer’s recommendation. Both methods give different shelf lives. For instance, if the expiration date says "Best By" then it means the product is good for 6 months after the expiration date. On the other hand, if the manufacturer recommends refrigeration then it means the product should be used within 3 months.

How Long Does Canned Food Last?

Canned food lasts longer than any other type of food because it is sealed tightly. This prevents air from getting into the food and spoiling it. It also keeps bacteria from growing. Most canned food has a shelf life of about 1 year. However, this depends on how long the cans were stored before opening. How Long Can I Keep Frozen Foods?

How Long Do Dairy Products Last?

Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, and cream cheese last longer if they are frozen rather than refrigerated. This is because freezing slows down the growth of microorganisms and enzymes. In addition, freezing preserves nutrients and flavors.

How Long Does Cooked Food Last?

Cooked food lasts longer if it is stored in airtight containers. It is important to store cooked food in the refrigerator or freezer immediately after cooking. Refrigeration extends the shelf life of cooked food by slowing the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. Freezing prolongs the storage life of cooked food by preventing moisture from escaping.

What is the Expiry Date?

Expiration dates are found on packaged foods and are used to indicate how long the product can be safely eaten after opening. These dates are based on the manufacturer’s recommendation for safe consumption. Manufacturers usually provide a range of expiration dates. For instance, a package of cookies may say "use within 6 months" or "eat within 1 year". This indicates that the cookies are good for six months or one year, respectively. How Do I Know When My Food Is Ready?

What Is The Difference Between Shelf Life and Expiry Date?

Shelf life refers to the length of time a food item remains edible after being stored. An expiry date is a code given to food products by manufacturers to indicate how long the food item can be safely consumed after opening.

Do Food Expiration Dates Really Matter?

Yes! A food expiration date tells you how long a product can be stored before it becomes unsafe to eat. This information helps consumers know what to expect from a particular food product. It also allows retailers to determine if a product needs to be restocked. How Long Can I Store Foods Before They Go Bad? Answer: Foods can go bad quickly or slowly depending on factors such as temperature, humidity, light exposure, and other environmental conditions. For instance, a refrigerator is not always the ideal place to store perishable items because cold temperatures slow down the growth of bacteria and mold. Other factors that affect the shelf life of food include the type of food e.g., meat vs. vegetables, storage location, and packaging.

Best-before / Best-use-by date

A "best-before" date indicates when the food was packaged and shipped to market. This date does not indicate when the food will expire; rather, it indicates when the quality of the food will begin to deteriorate. In addition, a "best-use-by" date indicates when the quality of food will start to decline. These dates are used to help consumers decide whether to buy or consume a food item. What Happens to My Food After Its Expired? Answer: When food goes past its expiration date, it loses nutritional value and can become dangerous to eat. However, many people still choose to eat expired food because they believe it tastes better than food that’s safe to eat.


This date is printed on the package to let customers know how long the product will remain good after being purchased. It is important to note that sell-by-dates are only guidelines and not guarantees. Best-Before Date Answer: The best-before date is the last day on which the manufacturer recommends consuming the food. This date is usually found on the label of the packaging. Best-Use-By Date Answer: This is the date after which the food should no longer be consumed. This date is usually printed on the label of the package.

Use-by date

This date is the recommended shelf life of the product. Shelf Life Answer: This refers to the period during which the product remains safe to consume.

Date of manufacturing or date of packaging

This is the date printed on the label of the product. Use By Date Answer: This is the date after which the product should not be consumed.

Are expired foods safe to eat?

Yes, if the expiration date is past, then the food is still safe to consume. However, it is always better to check the expiry date of any packaged food products before consuming them. What is the difference between raw and cooked meat? Answer: Raw meat is the uncooked form of meat. It contains no additives and preservatives. On the other hand, cooked meat is prepared using different methods such as grilling, baking, roasting, sautéing, and stir-frying. These methods help in preserving the nutrients present in the meat.

Is it OK to eat expired canned food?

Canned food is usually stored under refrigeration conditions. This helps in keeping the food safe from bacteria growth. As per the FDA guidelines, canned food should not be consumed after the expiration date printed on the label. How long does milk last in the refrigerator? Answer: Milk lasts longer in the fridge if it is kept in a sealed container. Aseptic packaging keeps the milk fresh for about 2 weeks. Once the milk gets spoiled, it becomes sour and smells bad. Why is it important to store eggs properly? Answer: Eggs are fragile and sensitive to temperature changes. Therefore, it is very important to store them correctly. Store eggs in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Also, avoid placing eggs directly into the refrigerator. Instead, put them in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. This way, the egg stays warm and won’t get cold.

Can Expired Food Cause Food Poisoning?

Yes, expired food can cause food poisoning. It’s because the bacteria present in the food starts multiplying when the food is left unrefrigerated. In addition, the food loses moisture and nutrients, making it unsafe to consume. What is the difference between pasteurized and unpasteurized milk? Pasteurization is done to kill harmful bacteria in milk. Pasteurization kills off any harmful bacteria present in the milk. However, the process cannot destroy all the good bacteria present in the milk, which is why unpasteurized milk is recommended for consumption.

Common Methods to Extend Shelf Life

Shelf life of food products depends upon several factors such as storage conditions, packaging materials used, type of product, and processing methods. If the food is stored properly, it can last longer. For instance, if the food is stored in a cool place, it can last longer than if it is stored in a warm place. Also, if the food is packaged correctly, it can last longer compared to other types of packaging. There are different ways to extend shelf life of food products. One way is to store the food in a refrigerator. This method helps in maintaining the quality of the food. Refrigeration slows down the growth of microorganisms and thus extends the shelf life of the food.

Fermentation and Pickling

Fermentation is the process where bacteria convert carbohydrates into alcohols and acids. It is usually done in a sealed container. In pickling, vinegar is added to food to preserve it.

Refrigeration and Freezing

Refrigeration is the process of cooling something down to below freezing point. This is achieved by using refrigerators. Freezing is the process of cooling an object to below 0 degrees Celsius 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This is achieved by using freezers.

Tips for refrigeration

Refrigeration is the act of cooling something down to a certain temperature. It is done by using refrigerators. A refrigerator is used to cool items such as food, drinks, ice, and other frozen products. Refrigerators are available in different sizes and shapes depending upon the requirements of the user. A freezer is used to freeze items such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and other frozen products, which can later be thawed and cooked. Freezers are available in different sizes.

Tips for freezing:

Freezing is a process where food is cooled down to below 0 degrees Celsius 32°F. This process helps preserve the quality of the food. In order to freeze food, we need to follow these steps: 1. Wash the food thoroughly. 2. Cut/slice the food into pieces.

Which Foods Can You Freeze?

You can freeze almost any type of food. However, certain types of food such as meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy products, and vegetables are not recommended to be frozen because they lose nutritional value after being frozen. Also, if you are planning to freeze raw fruits and vegetables, wash them well and cut them into smaller pieces. How to Freeze Food Properly? Answer: To freeze food properly, you need to follow these steps.


To cure food, place it in a freezer bag and freeze it. This process helps to preserve the flavor and texture of the food. Freezing Answer: Freezing food is very easy. Just put the food in a freezer bag and store it in the freezer. Thawing Answer: Thawing food is also very easy. Simply take the frozen food out of the freezer and let it sit at room temperature until thawed. Cooking Answer: Cooking food from frozen is very easy. Just place the frozen food in a pan and cook it according to the recipe.


Drying food is very easy. Place the food in a dehydrator and dry it at 105 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 hours. Cleaning Answer: Cleaning food is very easy. Use a paper towel to wipe down the surface of the food.

Vacuum packing

Vacuuming is a great way to clean your house. It’s a quick and effective way to get rid of dust and dirt from your floors, furniture, carpets and other surfaces. A vacuum cleaner works by sucking up air and dirt particles using a powerful fan. How to clean a vacuum cleaner


Sugar is used to remove stains from fabrics, especially woolen garments. Sugar is applied to the stain and left to dry. Then the garment is washed in hot water and dried. This process removes any remaining sugar residue. Dry cleaning Answer: Dry cleaning is a method of cleaning clothes that uses chemicals instead of water. The chemicals used are called solvents. These chemicals evaporate quickly leaving no residue behind. Washing machines Answer: Washing machines are designed to wash laundry efficiently and effectively. They use detergent to break down the oils and fats found in clothing. Detergents are usually added to the washing machine during the spin cycle. Ironing Answer: Ironing is a process where fabric is heated and pressed between two smooth metal plates. This helps remove wrinkles and creases from the fabric.


Canning is a process where food is preserved using heat and airtight containers. It is done to preserve food for later consumption. Freezing Answer: Freezing is a process where food items are frozen to prevent spoilage. Food is placed into freezer bags and then stored in the freezer.

How To Tell If Your Food Has Gone Bad or Spoiled

Food goes bad if it spoils. This happens because bacteria grows on the surface of the food. Bacteria can grow quickly in warm temperatures.

Damaged packaging

If you see any damage on the package, such as tears, holes, or stains, discard the product immediately. Bacterial growth Answer: Discard the product if you notice any signs of spoilage, such as moldy smells, discoloration, or sliminess.


Discontinue use of the product if you notice mold growing on the surface of the product.


Discolorations may occur during normal usage. These discolorations are not harmful and do not affect the performance of the product.


If the smell is strong, please contact our customer service team immediately.



Pantry pests

Sprouting is the process whereby seeds germinate into plants. It is done by soaking the seeds in warm water for several days until roots begin to form. This process is called “sprouting” because the sprouts resemble tiny peas.

Our List of Common Foods and Their Shelf Life

1. Canned Tomatoes – 4 years 2. Canned Beans – 2 years


All dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter, cream, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, cottage cheese, ricotta, kefir, buttermilk, sour cream, crème fraiche, and others are perishable and should be stored properly. Milk and other dairy products should be refrigerated after opening. Cheese should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator. Butter should be covered with wax paper and stored in the refrigerator. Cream and sour cream should be covered and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Yogurt should be stored in the refrigerator. Kefir should be stored in the fridge or freezer. Buttermilk should be stored in the pantry. Crème fraîche should be stored in the cupboard. Fruits and Vegetables Answer: Fruits and vegetables should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Store fruits and vegetables away from each other. Keep fruits and vegetables in airtight containers to prevent moisture loss. Wash produce thoroughly before using. Do not store cut fruit or vegetable in the refrigerator. Cut fruits and vegetables should be used within 3 days.

Fresh Meat and Deli Meat

Meat should be stored in the coolest part of the refrigerator. Use only fresh meat. Never freeze meat. Wrap meat well in plastic wrap. Make sure the wrapping is sealed. Place meat in a container with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate meat immediately after purchasing. Remove any excess fat from meats before freezing. Bread Answer: Bread should be stored in the bread box. To avoid mold growth, remove bread from the package and place in a clean cloth bag. Cover bread with a damp towel and let stand overnight. Then place bread in a bread box.

Processed, Dried or Cooked Foods

Store processed, dried or cooked foods in airtight containers. Store dry goods such as cereals, pasta, crackers, pretzels, nuts, seeds and beans in tightly closed containers. Do not store these items in the refrigerator. Canned Goods Answer: Cans of soup, vegetables, fruits and other canned goods should be stored upright in the pantry. Keep cans away from each other. Milk Answer: Milk should be refrigerated. It should be kept in a cool, dark area. Frozen Food Answer: Frozen foods should be stored in the freezer section of the refrigerator.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh produce should be stored in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Meat Answer: Meat should be stored in the meat drawer of the refrigerator.


Rice should be stored in the rice drawer of the refrigerator. Bread Answer: Bread should be stored in the bread drawer of the refrigerator. Frozen Foods Answer: Frozen foods should be stored in the freezer drawer of the refrigerator.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds should be stored in the cupboard where they were purchased. Canned Goods Answer: Canned goods should be stored in the pantry where they were purchased.

Cooking Oils, Sauce and Condiments

Oils, sauces and condiments should be stored in the refrigerator where they were purchased.

Flour and Baking Products

Confectionery and dessert making requires flour and baking products. Flour is used to make dough for breads, pastries, cookies, cakes, pies, and other baked goods. It is usually made from wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, millet, buckwheat, spelt, and triticale. Wheat flour is the most common type of flour used in confectionery and desserts. Other types of flours are sometimes used depending on the recipe. Baking powder and baking soda are leavening agents that help produce light airy baked goods. These two ingredients are combined with sugar and shortening to form a paste that reacts with moisture in the batter or dough to create gas pockets that allow the cake to rise. Baking powder and soda are available in different forms such as granules, tablets, and liquids. Powdered sugar is added to cakes and pastries to give them a sweet taste. Sugar is also used to coat the outside of the cookie or pie crust. Corn syrup is another ingredient used in many recipes. It is a thick liquid that is derived from corn

Canned and Bottled Products

Canning and bottling are two methods of preserving food. Canning is a method of processing food into jars or cans. Cans are sealed using either a wax coating or a metal lining. This prevents oxygen from entering the container and spoiling the contents. Bottles are glass containers that are sealed with a cork or plastic stopper. Both methods are used to preserve food for long periods of time. In addition to being useful for storing food, canned and bottled products are convenient because they are ready to eat when needed. They are also easy to store and transport.

Liquid and Beverages

Canned and bottled beverages are convenient because they are available whenever you need them. They are also easy and inexpensive to produce. However, they are not always safe to consume. For instance, many people drink soda pop that contains phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid is found in soft drinks such as Coca Cola and Pepsi. It helps prevent tooth decay. But, if you drink too much soda pop containing phosphoric acid, it can damage your teeth. Also, some types of canned and bottled beverages are packed with preservatives that help extend the shelf life of the product. These preservatives can be harmful to your health.

Alcoholic Products

Alcoholic products are usually produced from grain, sugar cane, potatoes, and other plants. Alcoholic beverages are generally classified into two categories: distilled spirits and fermented beverages. Distilled spirits are manufactured by distilling fermented beverages. Fermented beverages are produced by fermenting grains, sugars, fruits, and vegetables. Examples of alcoholic beverages include beer, wine, whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, brandy, liqueurs, and moonshine.

How long is foods shelf life?

Yes, if you store it properly. Canned foods are not only convenient but also economical. However, they have a limited shelf life. It depends on how long you can keep it from spoiling. Most canned foods are stored in glass jars. Glass containers are better than plastic because they won’t break easily. But, they are heavy and bulky. So, you’ll need to take care of them. To extend the shelf life of canned foods, you should follow these tips: 1. Keep the cans upright. This prevents condensation from forming on the top of the can. 2. Don’t let the cans touch each other.

What foods have longest shelf life?

Foods that have been processed into different forms such as frozen, dried, smoked, pickled, fermented, salted, cured, cooked, or otherwise altered retain their nutritional value longer than unaltered foods.

What food has an infinite shelf life?

Canned food was invented by Louis Pasteur in 1857. He discovered that heating food in airtight containers prevented spoilage. Canned food is stored under low temperatures 0°F and high pressures 15 psi. This prevents bacteria from growing. How long does food last in the refrigerator?

Can you eat past shelf life?

Yes, but only if you know how to store it properly. Most people think that eating something past its expiration date is bad, but it depends on the quality of the food. For instance, if you buy a carton of milk that expires after 3 months, you can still drink it. However, if you buy a bottle of wine that expires after 2 years, you cannot drink it anymore.

What is the oldest canned food?

Shelf life refers to how long a product can stay in a certain condition. For instance, if we talk about fruits and vegetables, they have different shelf lives depending on what type of fruit or vegetable it is. Fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, and kiwis have longer shelf lives than other types of produce. This is because they are usually not exposed to oxygen and therefore do not spoil easily. On the other hand, vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and potatoes have shorter shelf lives because they are prone to spoiling quickly.

What foods can be stored for years?

Canned goods, dry goods, and frozen foods are examples of foods that can be stored for years. Canned goods are good for long term storage because they are vacuum packed and sealed tightly. Dry goods are also good for long term storage but they need to be stored in airtight containers. Frozen foods are great for long term storage because freezing preserves the nutrients and flavors of the food.

Can canned food last 100 years?

Foods shelf life depends on many factors such as type of food, storage conditions, and how well sealed the package is. Food packaging materials such as plastic, glass, and paper are different from each other in terms of durability and shelf life. Plastic containers are usually used for short term storage while glass jars are preferred for longer periods of storage. Paper packaging is not recommended for food storage because it does not provide any protection against moisture loss. Foods stored in glass containers are better protected from moisture loss compared to those stored in plastic containers. However, if the container is properly sealed, it can last for years.