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What Foods Are Safe To Eat After The Expiry Date?

Legally, manufacturers must put an expiry date on all food products in case of a problem. But as a precaution, the industrial retention periods are underestimated… and sometimes not very useful. Details.

What Does DDM Mean? BBD?

The mention “to be consumed preferably before…” corresponds to a Minimum Durability Date (DDM), previously called Optimal Use Limit Date (DLUO). It applies to dry, stable, lyophilized, sterilized, or frozen products. This data is intended to warn the consumer that after the product no longer meets the original organoleptic criteria, the taste and nutritional qualities may be reduced. For example, the risks may be a little less crunchy, the sweets a little drier or stickier or less tasty, but there will not be a health risk.

What Foods Are Safe To Eat After DDM?

Some foodstuffs can be consumed without risk to health after the MDD indicated by the manufacturer, but care must be taken to store them in good condition.

Pasta And Rice

They can be eaten up to a year after their dates. However, care must be taken when storing them: in a dry place, in an airtight container.


It can be consumed well after the date, provided no mold is on it. If it’s too hard to eat, you can make toast, breadcrumbs, French toast, or croutons for soup (with a little garlic rubbed on top, a real delight).

Chips, Crackers, Oilseeds, Cereals, Cakes, Coffee…

These foods can be eaten months after their dates, provided they are well preserved (dry and in a closed container).

Honey, Sugar, Spices, Salt…

They are very stable and can be kept … advitamaeternam. Even after years, these products will not be toxic!


They keep for years after their dates; you have to check that there is no rust or swelling in the box! They must be protected from humidity in a dry place to optimize their conservation.

Freeze-Dried Products

Soups in sachets, mashed potatoes in sachets, powdered milk… all these products can be kept for a long time if their packaging is not inflated, opened or damaged.


It can be consumed up to 2 years after its DDM! Be careful; the white film that can settle on it is not mold or a toxic product; it just means it has lost some of its original taste.

Frozen Products

Provided that the cold chain has been respected, they can be kept for months after their DDM. The only risk you run is the slight loss of their texture or taste.

Soft Drinks, Sodas

They are rich in additives and preservatives, which allows you to consume them between 4 and 9 months after their DDM.

Mustard, Ketchup, Jams

If the product is not opened, it can be kept for months after its deadlines. If they are open, they must be placed in a cool place; they are still edible, but always check their taste and if they are mold-free. On average, mayonnaise will keep for 2 to 3 months, ketchup for around 6 months and mustard for up to around 1 year. On the other hand, homemade mayonnaise takes up to 24 hours.

Cream And UHT Milk, Sterilized

If unopened, these products can be consumed up to 2 months after their MDD. But if they are opened, place them in the refrigerator and consume them within 4 days.


They can be consumed after DDM, but their taste may be altered, even if it is not toxic.


They ripen over time to be consumed beyond the expiry date. Some cheeses, such as Roquefort or Camembert, naturally contain NON-pathogenic fungi, so even after their DDM, they can be eaten; for hard cheeses such as Gruyère, any mold on the surface must be removed before consuming the product.

But if there is even in the heart of the product, it is better to avoid consuming it. This information is provided as an indication if you have the slightest doubt about a food (deformed can, unpleasant smell, abnormal color, absence of “pop” when opening a jar…), do not take the risk of getting sick and throw it away (or compost it if the product allows it).

Products With A “Use By Date” (Consume By)

The manufacturers indicate the use-by date (DLC) or the words “use by” on the packaging of perishable products with a bacteriological risk. It is in the form of day/month/year. The use-by date is valid for food whose packaging has not been opened and that food has been stored in good conditions, respecting the storage temperature and without breaking the cold chain. These products should generally be eaten before they reach their use-by date, but some can nevertheless be eaten after their use-by date, thus making it possible to limit food waste. What foods can you eat after the DLC?


Yogurts are naturally rich in non-pathogenic bacteria . Well kept in a cool place, and if their lid is not curved, they can be consumed up to 3 months after their use-by date. Be careful, however, warns ANSES this does not apply to fresh dairy desserts.


In good storage conditions, it can be consumed up to two weeks after opening. The exception of eggs Eggs have neither DLC nor DDM but a DCR (Recommended Consumption Date). It is fixed at 28 days after the laying of the egg. After DCR, the egg is still edible for a few weeks if the shell is not split, washed and stored in a cool place. It would be best if you played out the glass of water test to ensure an egg is consumable. 

  1. On the off chance that it stays at the base, it is as yet consumable.
  2. On the off chance that it rises marginally, it is as yet edible and cooked.
  3. On the off chance that it floats, trying not to consume it is better.

Can We Sell Expired Food Products?

Products that include a DLC cannot be sold by a merchant when this date has passed. It is forbidden to offer a product for sale the day after the DLC under penalty of a fine or even a prison sentence; it all depends on whether it is a simple negligence or a sale to deceive. On the other hand, selling a product whose MDD has been exceeded does not constitute an offense.

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