Friday, June 24, 2005

Expiration dates for staples

The last thing we want to encourage is a purely survivalist response to the threat of an influenza pandemic. We all want to protect ourselves and our families but we will need a community response and should be working on ways we help each other through what might happen.

Sermon over (for the moment).

What about the staples you are laying in "just in case"? How long will they last? Brown sugar? Beer? Hershey bars? Even these have expiration dates on them. Fortunately the folks at Real Simple have bothered to look into this for us. Here are a few examples (via Boingboing). Click this link for the full roster, including pasta, coffee and mayonnaise (you'll be surprised).
Frozen dinners
Unopened: 12 to 18 months

Frozen vegetables
Unopened: 18 to 24 months
Opened: 1 month

Juice, bottled (apple or cranberry)
Unopened: 8 months from production date
Opened: 7 to 10 days

Maraschino cherries
Unopened: 3 to 4 years
Opened: 2 weeks at room temperature; 6 months refrigerated

Olives, jarred (green with pimento)
Unopened: 3 years
Opened: 3 months

Protein bars (PowerBars)
Unopened: 10 to 12 months. Check "best by" date on the package.

Soda, regular
Unopened: In cans or glass bottles, 9 months from "best by" date
Opened: Doesn't spoil, but taste is affected