Use the stamp on the package as your guide for expiration dates. If there's no date in sight, here are signs that your food has worn out its welcome.
expiration dates


Toss milk when it starts smelling sour, usually a week or so after opening. Cut away mold from hard cheeses like parmesan, but it permeates soft cheeses like ricotta and goat, so chuck 'em.

Meat and poultry 

Discolored? Slimy? Smelly? Get rid of it. 

Cuts of steak: What to look for


Dried-out is fine, but don't put anything with mold or a slimy residue in your mouth.  

Canned goods 

Most have a shelf life of two years, but if it smells sour or funky once opened, toss it.  

Dry goods  

Most last up to six months unopened. If you find weevils, it's time to restock.