Shelf Life
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Shelf-life refers to the amount of time a food product or ingredient should be used before discarding.  Shelf-life refers to items stored in the freezer, refrigerator, or pantry.  Manufacturers in the U.S. are required to give an expiration date on items to be consumed, indicating the date they are likely to “still be fresh.” The goal in food storage is to use product, not to store it indefinitely.  Throughout our Culinary Curriculum, we offer suggestions for proper storage of food (for instance a cooked egg).  For ingredients you are uncertain about, refer to the date set by the manufacturer.  Also note that the date does not apply, in many instances, once a product has been opened.  For example, a carton of milk, once opened, should be used within 7-10 days (or as indicated by the manufacturer on the carton). In terms of flour and other pantry ingredients, things will store best in airtight containers.  It is worth investing in containers for things like grains, beans, flour, etc. as “invaders” like moths and other pests will find it harder to penetrate an airtight container than an opened paper or plastic bag.