Cleaning Out the Cabinets

Clearing out the cabinets? Wondering if that fruitcake that has been in your pantry since last year (or maybe the year before?) is still safe to eat? Here is a handy guide to common pantry items from the CNN website:

Honey- Because it’s low in water and sugars, bacteria can’t easily grow in it. Small amounts of hydrogen peroxide in honey also inhibit the growth of microbes.

Dried legumes- Beans, lentils, and other legumes stored in airtight, waterproof containers can last for years without losing their nutritionial value.

Soy sauce- Unopened, soy sauce can last for three years on the shelf, thanks to its combination of fermentation and salt.

Vinegar- Its acidic nature makes it difficult for bacteria to thrive. White vinegar will stay unchanged almost indefinitely, but other vinegars may change color or produce sediment in the bottle over time.

White rice- The key is temperature. White rice stored in an airtight container at about 27 degrees Fahrenheit can last up to 30 years, although brown rice has a shorter shelf life.

Dark baking cocoa- Chocolate fans rejoice! As long as it’s stored at a constant temperature, dark chocolate is safe to eat for two years or longer.

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