These Foods Never Go Out of Date

07 March, 2021
There are certain foods that don't go out of date or spoil over time, as long as we keep them in suitable conditions. In this article, we'll tell you what they are.

We’re always looking at the expiration date on foods so that they last longer and we don’t end up throwing them out. After all, consuming products when they’re out of date can negatively affect their organoleptic qualities.

However, the most dangerous part is that the food itself can develop microorganisms that can put the health of the consumer at risk. But did you know that there’s food that never goes out of date? 

In this article, we’ll tell you what they are!

Which foods never go out of date?

All perishable food should have an expiration date, but few products last beyond that date. There are out of date’ foods that you can eat because in reality, they take many years to spoil.

The expiration date indicates which products are very perishable and have a microbiological risk: raw and cooked meat and fish, and fruits and vegetables. Once these products have passed the expiration date, you shouldn’t consume them.

Foods that are in a poor condition or spoiled can bring health risks, and can even contain harmful bacterias, as an article published in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews confirms. They continue by commenting on the most common symptoms of intoxication by Salmonella, a bacteria present in raw meats.

Alternatively, products that are more durable and stable have a consume-by date. Once these pass that date, they are likely to have lost part of their properties; they can taste a little rotten, have less aroma, have a change in texture, etc., but there’s no microbiological risk.

However, there are some foods that we can keep for long periods of time, as long as we store them properly. Let’s take a closer look at what these are:

1. Salt

Salt is a natural preservative and we use it to brine or salt foods. For that reason, it doesn’t expire. Furthermore, at home, we can also use it to preserve foods like fish or meat.

However, you should be careful with how much salt you consume as it’s easy to surpass the daily recommended allowance (1/10 oz.) Many foods have added salt and we should keep that in mind.

salt shaker

2. Rice

White rice can keep its nutrient content and taste for 30 years if we store it in air-tight containers, in temperatures below 41°F. Wholegrain rice, however, doesn’t last as long. It can last around 6 months, due to the natural oils that we find in the layer of bran.

You may also be interested in: Expiration Date of Medicine: Does the Effectiveness Decrease?

3. Foods that don’t go out of date: Soy sauce

For soy sauce to (almost) last for eternity, you should keep it without breaking the seal. That said, if you do open the bottle, the sauce can last several years in the dispenser. This is due to its salt content; as we mentioned above, salt is a preservative.

4. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate can last quite a long time, as long as you keep it in a dry, fresh place, and don’t subject it to changes in heat. Dark chocolate is a beneficial food as it contains biologically active components, like flavonoids. These protect your heart, according to an investigation published in the journal for Current Medicinal Chemistry.

Regardless, you must eat this food as part of a healthy and varied diet. You can eat an ounce of dark chocolate regularly, without any problems, as long as you choose varieties with a pure chocolate content of over 80%.

5. Dried pulses

Dried pulses can have an indefinite useful life. This is because of the drying process that they go through, in which they lose their water. However, they can harden over time, and in that case, you would simply have to cook them for longer.

6. Foods that don’t go out of date: Sugar

When we keep sugar in a dry place with no harsh temperatures, it can last for quite a while. The bacteria don’t colonize it since it doesn’t have high water content. If the sugar solidifies and forms lumps, it’s enough to heat it in the microwave at a low temperature for one or two minutes.

7. Drinks with a high alcohol content

Spirit-based drinks with high alcohol content, like vodka, rum, whiskey, gin, or tequila, can last a long time in good conditions, as long as you don’t open the bottle and keep them out of direct sunlight. The only inconvenience is they may lose a bit of their flavor.

alcoholic drinks; foods that don't go out of date

8. Spices

To ensure that spices last longeryou have to keep them in crystal jars that are hermetically sealed. However, it’s not a good idea to keep them for a long time as they lose their scent and taste.

Check out this article: How to Extend the Life of Your Makeup

9. Coffee

Normally, coffee comes ground in opaque bags so it lasts longer – for months and even years beyond its expiration date. You should keep it far away from sunlight and humidity, and don’t keep it in the fridge because it can lose its aroma.

10. Foods that don’t go out of date: honey

Honey is the only food that truly lasts forever, thanks to the bees creating a product high in acid and little humidity. After some time, it can crystallize, but this doesn’t affect its quality or safety.

11. Vinegar

Similar to salt, vinegar is a natural preservative that we can keep for a long time due to its natural acid. It also helps to preserve other foods.

12. Olive oil

This is another food that doesn’t go out of date; we can keep it for two or three years in a dry place, but it can lose its organoleptic qualities.

Some foods don’t go out of date

Even though many products that we see in shops have an expiration date or consume-by date, some foods aren’t affected by the passage of time. However, it’s necessary to keep them in suitable temperature and humidity conditions.

  • Crump JA., Sjolund Karlsson M., Gordon MA., Parry CM., Epidemiology, clinical presentation, laboratory diagnosis, antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial management of invasive salmonella infections. Clin Microbiol Rev, 2015. 28 (4): 901-37.
  • Sánchez M., Romero M., Gómez Guzmán M., Tamargo J., et al., Cardiovascular effects of flavonoids. Curr Med Chem, 2019. 26 (39): 6991-7034.