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I recently opened a can of mandarin oranges. The smell was fine, but the can had turned a deep gray inside. A quick taste test said it was not edible. It tasted of metal. I looked at the expiration date and they had been in my room mate's pantry for 3.5 years.
Not all cans bulge when they go bad. Sometimes, they quietly go bad and no one is the wiser until they get sick. Check the dates. If you forget to do that, check the inside. It should never ever look like this. For the seasoned cooks out there, this might be old news. But for those just starting out, this is word to the wise.
Poor But Proud.
When I return from grocery shopping, I use a sharpie marker and write the date on the outside of such items as eggs, salad dressings and mayonnaise. That way as my week progresses, I know what is the oldest and what really needs to get used up.
For instance, this week my eggs were dated two weeks old and when I looked in the carton, I had two left from this date. I boiled these two when I prepared dinner. My mayonnaise was getting a little dated also. So I made egg salad sandwiches for lunch.
When you purchase perishables (or even nonperishable items), it is best to grab from the back if you want a longer expiration date.
For instance, I went grocery shopping and for milk. You can see the one closest in grabbing distance shows July 17, one behind is July 21, but the one I purchased is July 24!
I am able to keep my milk longer before it could spoil, which works best for our household.