April 16 2011,
This topic came up because in Boston, during a food inspection at the local Boston schools, the inspector found food that were past it expiration date.
I am a stickler for expiration date. Something that is past it's expiration date will usually end up in the thrash, including potato chips, jams, salad dressing etc.
Let's examine my in-laws a little bit closely. They have a big pantry full of cans, flour, sugar, salad dressing, etc, the usual stuff you find in a pantry. When looking through the pantry, I often find items as early as the 1980's. I am not kidding and am not exaggerating. So whenever I go into their pantry, I look for the expiration to make sure it is at least within the decade.
I love it when people bring over food that they have that is sitting around their house, and they have no intention of eating it and coincidentally is past the expiration date. "Here are some expired goodies." Gee thanks. I know they have good intentions, and might have overlook the expiration date. But since I am a stickler to these dates (plus a few months), it usually ends up in the trash.
I know it's wasteful, but it's better then running and sitting in the toilet for hours on end.
Here is a link to look up shelf life and storage information on products, www.shelflifeadivce.com.
Quilt & Bitch