NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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To Toss or To Keep – That is the Question

To Toss or To Keep – That is the Question 6/2/17As my son’s third year of college drew to a close last month, he prepared to move out of his apartment to a new location.  Part of getting ready to move meant cleaning and packing.  It was a time filled with lots of toss (throw away) versus keep (save) decisions, from furniture, to clothes, to food in the refrigerator and pantry.

According to the Midwest Dairy Council, dairy foods are thrown out more often than any other food.  However, the foods are oftentimes still safe to eat.  Throwing away food means throwing away money, and, well, food.  Neither of those appeal to me.  How about you? 

It’s good to remember that the “sell by” date is the last date the store can display the item in the refrigerated case. “Use by” and “Best if used by” are quality dates, not safety dates.

Be sure to store dairy foods (milk, yogurt, cheese) in a refrigerator at 40 F or lower.  With proper refrigeration the following is true:

❚ Milk can be used up to one week past the sell-by date.

❚ Soft cheese (Brie, Neufchatel, etc.) can last one to four weeks after the sell-by date.

❚ Hard cheese (cheddar, Colby, etc.) lasts up to 10 months after the sell-by date.

❚ Yogurt lasts up to 10 days after the sell-by date.

The big caveat is “with proper refrigeration” and “when properly refrigerated.” 

If dairy products have an unusual odor or flavor, throw them out.  If a block or brick of hard cheese (cheddar, etc.) has mold, cut away 1-inch on all sides around the moldy area; the rest of the cheese is OK to use. However, if you find moldy yogurt or moldy soft cheese, the entire container should be thrown away.

Source:  NDSU Extension Service Foodwise, June 2017.

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/refrigerator-icebox-food-cold-1809344/  (downloaded 6/6/17)


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