Is It Safe To Eat Cereal Past The “Best By” Date?

Has this happened to you before? You wake up starving and grab the box of cereal from the back of the kitchen cabinet only to find that it’s past the “best by” date. Should you dive in anyway? According to experts, you’d likely be in the clear even if expired, although the texture might be off. Jennifer Kaplan, the Food Systems instructor at the Culinary Institute of America, says not to worry, even weeks or months past the date stamped on the box. “Expiration date labeling looks different across food packages because there is no standardization,” Kaplan notes. Food author Sharon Palmer offers a word of caution though: “Cereals with [more] fat are more prone to rancidity,” which won’t hurt you, but will taste bad.

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