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Having to throw away food is frustrating on several fronts: 1) You were looking forward to eating that and now you don’t get to 2) You wasted money and 3) You can’t believe you miscalculated how much food you needed for the week—again. Throwing expired food out can be so frustrating that some people just…don’t. Instead, they gamble and eat the smoked salmon that smells a little fishy or the Alfredo sauce that has turned slightly blue. You can’t blame them—but their stomachs will blame them later. There are some foods on which you can push the expiration date, but others should be observed militantly. Here are foods you can ignore the expiration date on, and foods you should never ignore the expiration date on.

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Okay to push: Canned food

There’s a reason you should put canned food in your emergency preparedness kit: it can last a very long time. The truth is that you can eat most canned foods for three or four years past the expiration date so long as the canned hasn’t formed any rust.

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