Food expiry dates matter

Full cartons of eggs have greater leeway than boxed ones, although both should be eaten quickly. Avoid finishing that two-week-old box of whites. It's okay to store raw, shelled eggs in the fridge for three to five weeks.

Because bacteria and mold can't penetrate harder cheeses like cheddar or gouda, they last longer. Hard cheeses can remain six months in the fridge once opened, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Potato and egg salads, like mayo and mustard, are more prone to bacteria growth due to higher exposure. Taking a few scoops from the container increases bacteria and foodborne illness risk. These salads are commonly forgotten in the fridge, allowing bacteria to proliferate and deteriorate. 

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The FDA recommends eating or freezing ground meat within two days of purchase. This includes beef, hog, turkey, lamb, and other ground meats. Ground beef can spread surface bacteria, raising your risk of food poisoning or other sickness.

Like meat, fish should be eaten within one or two days of purchase to avoid bacteria. Otherwise, Whole Foods recommends carefully wrapping it in moisture-proof freezer paper or foil and freezing.

Berries, whether from the store or a farmer's market, are perishable. Blueberries may be refrigerated for many days, while raspberries and strawberries survive three days. Try freezing fruit you won't consume in that time.

Bacteria thrive in warm climates where sprouts are grown. Late consumption (two days after purchase) increases the risk of illness. When pregnant or unwell, avoid them.

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