NDSU Extension - Benson County


| Share

How Long Can I Keep…?

By Kimberly Braulick, Extension Agent Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

You have most likely bought a food or food related item and after some time has passed, you notice the listed date on the product is past the current date.  You feel like it is a waste to throw it away, but you also want to keep your family safe. 

This is a dilemma many people face, and it is a question without a simple answer.  The only food with consistent, regulated dates is baby food.  The rest of the products we buy have a mix of expiration dates, best if used by dates and sell by dates. 

If you are a user of any type of smart phone or tablet, your food expiration worries may soon be gone.  The USDA has an app called ‘Food Keeper’.  It has a variety of common products, and tells you how long they are good after the date listed on their product.  Of course, if you are still in doubt, throw it out.

Eggs, for example, can be kept for 3-5 weeks from the date of purchase.  Do not throw eggs away the day after the date on the package, as they can be consumed for WEEKS after the stated date.

Milk can be consumed one week after the date of purchase.  It can also be frozen for up to three months if you know you will not be able to use it quickly enough.

Yogurt can be used for 1-2 weeks from the purchase date, and can also be frozen for 1-2 month.  For a different twist on a snack or dessert, try frozen yogurt.  An especially delicious treat for this summer.

Here is a recipe for baked potatoes primavera to use up a few ingredients that may be nearing the end of their fridge, freezer, or shelf life.  Enjoy!

Baked Potatoes Primavera


  • 4 potatoes (medium)
  • 4 cups mixed vegetables (frozen)
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream, non-fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil (dried)
  • black pepper (to taste)


First, pierce each potato several times with a fork. Microwave on high until tender, about 3-4 minutes per potato.  Next, steam mixed vegetables until hot.  Mix the sour cream with the herbs and pepper.  Split the potatoes in the center and fill with steamed veggies. Finally, top with sour cream and serve hot.


Makes: 8 servings.  Each serving contains 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 mg of sodium, 28 carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. 



  • Food and Health Communications, Inc.
  • USDA Food Keeper App.
Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.