Most of us check the “use by” date on the package, bag, can or container once we buy it. In many cases a lot of products are just fine 2, 3, 4 days after the date printed on the item. But there are some food items that have a “forever” shelf life way beyond what is printed on the package.

Before you start to throw away things in your food cabinet or fridge here are a few of those long lasting food items. Some may be obvious, some may surprise you. There many more but here are a few …

Canned Tuna & Meats – According to the USDA, low-acid canned goods like vegetables, meat, and fish stay fresh for up to five years. That’s because they’re sterile, making it impossible for bacteria to intrude and ruin them.

Honey – It carries antiviral and antibacterial properties and has a near-infinite shelf life. It may get grainy, hard, or change color, but its antibiotic properties protect the taste and keep it from spoiling.

Sugar – Believe it or not, sugar doesn’t ever go bad and can last forever. To keep it from hardening, store it in an airtight container or seal it in a plastic bag.

Peanut Butter – An unopened jar will last 2 years past the “use by” date!

Soy Sauce – A very popular sauce for many kinds of dishes, it can last forever if it remains unopened. Once opened and kept in the fridge it will last up to three years and still have its entire flavor.

Mustard – Unopened mustard can last for up to three years. Once the seal is cracked, it will last about a year before it goes bad, although some opened varieties can last for up to two years.

Rice – Basmati, wild, jasmine and white rice all keep for years, so long as they remain tightly sealed. Once you open the box or bag, store the rice in an airtight container or a freezer bag to keep the grains fresh. The only type of rice that does not apply is fiber-rich brown rice. It contains oils in it that cause it to go rancid after  six months.

Powdered Milk – Because powdered milk has zero moisture, it’s able to stay safe-to-eat and use for anywhere from two to ten years on end.

Coffee & Tea – Kept in an airtight container, coffee & tea will stay fresh and usable for years.

Olives – These can be kept for up to three years and will still have their full taste. Just make sure the jar lid is on tight.

Marinara Sauce – According to some chefs, because of its makeup, this sauce, when kept tightly closed can last up to three years.

Ramen Noodles – A big favorite with the college crowd, these noodles can last for decades as long as the packages they come in are airtight and not damaged.

Corn Starch – Not something used every day, but as long as it is stored in a cool, dry place, cornstarch can last indefinitely and always be effective.

Popcorn – As long as they are stored in an airtight container, popcorn kernels will last indefinitely. So those sealed packs you have in your cabinet will still be good years from now.

Canned Tomatoes – While they have an expiration date, as long as they remain in an unopened can they will remain good to go for two years.

Oatmeal – Oatmeal has a great shelf life and the instant type can last two years past the “use by” date.

There you go … just a few food items you might want if you are worried about things “going bad” !