Can you eat ‘expired’ nuts and dried fruit?

Can you eat ‘expired’ nuts and dried fruit?

Can you eat expired nuts?

Imagine looking for your favourite nuts, dried fruit or nut creams in the cupboard and suddenly realizing that the expiration date indicated on the packaging is past. A question immediately comes to your mind: can I still eat it?

To find the answer, the first thing you need to do is reading the information on the packaging, where you may find a 'use-by' date or a 'best-before' date. What is the difference?

Use-by date

The ‘Use-by’ date indicates the date until which food is safe to eat. The use-by date is applied to highly perishable prepacked food. The storage instructions for these foodstuffs must be followed strictly (e.g., store in the refrigerator), otherwise the product perishes more quickly and there is a risk of food poisoning.

Best-before date

The 'best-before' date is an estimate - determined by the manufacturer - of the date until when food may be eaten at its best. Once past this date, foodstuffs may still be consumed (provided the given storage instructions have been followed), as their consumption does not represent a food safety risk, although the organoleptic properties and the aspects that distinguish the food - such as taste and smell - gradually deteriorate.

On this topic, the EFSA has published a scientific opinion focussing on time limits for food consumption and on the non-binding time limit set by the 'best-before' date.

Can you store nuts and dried fruit after expiration date?

As regards the nuts, dried fruit or nut creams in our cupboards, their expiry dates are 'best-before' dates, so once the date indicated on the packaging is past, you can use your senses to check if the food is still edible: taste, sight, and smell can help us fighting food waste.

Indeed, the European Commission has estimated that up to 10% of the 88 million tonnes of food waste produced each year in the EU is related to the expiration date indicated on food packaging or labels.

How to best store nuts and dried fruit? At, we recommend storing them in cool, dry places, away from sources of heat.


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