Shelf Life Guides For Everyday Foods

Justin Micheal

Food Writer & Editor in Chief For KitchenSanity

Justin Micheal is KitchenSanity's founder, food writer and editor in chief. As an expert home cook with over 30 years of daily cooking experience and food handler certifications, he's a pro at experimenting with recipes and a stickler for food safety. He writes informative and detailed guides about cooking basics such as proper food storage, cutting and cooking methods, and choosing the right products to make cooking easier.

Learn more about KitchenSanity's Editorial Guidelines.

Welcome to KitchenSanity’s food expiration hub, your reliable guide to understanding the shelf life of various food items. Here, we dig into essential questions: How long does each food last? What are the signs it’s still safe to eat? And most importantly, how can you decide whether to keep it or toss it?

On this page, you’ll find guides organized by food groups. Whether it’s dairy, meats, vegetables, or those pantry must-haves like peanut butter, we’ve got you covered. These detailed guides offer you the latest and most practical advice on storing, preserving, and maximizing the shelf life of your favorite foods.

Not sure where to start? See our guide reading expiration dates.

Pantry Staples

Those jars, cans, and boxes in your pantry, like peanut butter and spices, seem like they could last forever, right? Well, let’s find out. We’ll guide you through how long these staples really last and the signs they might be past their best. Keeping your pantry in tip-top shape is easier than you think!

Meat & Poultry

Chicken tonight? Or maybe a steak? Let’s talk about keeping your meat and poultry fresh. You’ll learn how to tell if they’re still good to cook or if it’s time to say goodbye. From fridge storage to freezer life, I’ve got you covered on all things meat and poultry.


Got milk? Or cheese or yogurt? You know they don’t last forever. Let’s walk through how to tell when they’re past their prime and the best ways to keep them fresh.


Are you thinking of grilling salmon or shucking oysters? Let’s make sure they’re fresh! Our shelf life guides for seafood will show you how to store your fish and shellfish and the tell-tale signs it’s time to enjoy them or let them go.


Love your apples and berries, but not sure when they’ve gone bad? Let’s sort that out. Here’s the scoop on storing your fruits and spotting them when they’re not so fresh anymore. Whether on the counter or in the fridge, you’ll know just what to do.


Keeping your greens crisp and your carrots crunchy? It’s all about timing. In these guides, you’ll get to know just how long your veggies stay fresh and the subtle hints they give when it’s time for a fresh batch. Let’s make sure your vegetable drawer is always stocked with the freshest picks and prevent the bad ones from spoiling the rest.

Grains & Legumes

Rice, beans, and quinoa are pantry heroes, but even they have a shelf life. Let’s explore how long they last and the signs they’re not at their best.


Beverages are part of our daily life, from coffee to soda. But how long do they stay good? Here is how long they last and how to tell when it’s time to pour them out.

Holiday Foods

Do you have a fridge full of holiday leftovers, or do you wonder how long that pumpkin pie lasts? Our holiday food guides are here to the rescue. From Thanksgiving turkey to Christmas cookies, learn how to keep your festive foods delicious and safe. No more guessing – just good holiday cheer!

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