When the sniff test just isn’t enough.
It’s inevitable. You’ve barely begun the dreaded pantry and fridge clean-up. But before you know it, there’s a pile of canned goods way past their use-by-dates, something that’s more mould than cheese and expired eggs that look innocent enough but could potentially unleash horrors you will have to cut off your nose to un-smell.
We know what you’re thinking: What. A. Waste.
We’ve put together a list of the top foods and other goodies that can be safely eaten despite their packaging saying otherwise, as well as some tips for prolonging food freshness.
1. Potato chips
All that salty goodness in your favourite potato chips does something else apart from tasting so yummy – it also acts as a preserving agent.
Good news for all those chocoholics out there – the sugar helps to preserve this addictive treat. Sometimes a white coating – sometimes called the “bloom” – develops on its surface when the cocoa fats are exposed to air and rise to the top. But rest assured the coating is not mould and is safe to eat. So dig in, we say.
Bread can last months beyond its use-by date if frozen. Just be sure your bread hasn’t gone mouldy before you stick it in the freezer.
If your bread is a bit stale, try heating it up in the oven. Again, watch out for mould.
Your milk will smell or taste foul way before it makes you sick. To keep milk fresh for longer, close the carton quickly and return it to to the fridge (which should be set to two degrees Celsius). Avoid letting the milk sit at room temperature. Don’t drink it if it starts to curdle.
Another tip to prolonging your milk’s freshness is to keep the carton at the back of the fridge, where it’s colder, rather than in the door.
Sour milk? Use it to make pancakes.
You can still have your fried, scrambled or hard-boiled eggs for up to three to five weeks after their use-by date, provided they are stored below five degrees Celsius.
But a handy way to check you’re not about to eat a rotten egg is to do the float test.
Put the eggs in a bowl of water. If they float, the egg is probably full of gases and unsafe to eat. If the eggs sink, they should be fine to eat provided it is not more than five weeks after the use-by date.
We know bacteria is essential to making great yoghurt. So it’s really no surprise that yoghurt can actually last up to six weeks beyond its use-by date. Mouldy top? No problem – scrape it off and eat the untouched yoghurt underneath. Deeeelicious.