When You Should Toss Your Pantry Items + When You Can Keep

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Playing The Pantry Police Raid One Couple's Home
The Pantry Police Raid One Couple's Home Aired March 22, 2016

Most people have expired food lurking in their pantry or fridge. But they might wonder whether eating it will just taste bad, or whether it could actually make them sick. TV host and food writer Ted Allen is going through one couple's kitchen and explaining what might be okay, and what needs to go. Plus, he shares four tips on how to evaluate your food's freshness—and how you can keep it fresh for longer.

Tip 1: Test Baking Soda for Freshness

Ted explains that your baked goods won't be as fluffy if your baking soda is out of date. But how do you know if it is still potent? Ted shows you a simple trick. Just add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of water, then add a tablespoon of baking soda. If it bubbles and fizzes, your baking soda is still good. If there is very little reaction, it's probably lost its potency and you should replace.

Tip 2: Prevent Ice Cream From Getting Freezer Burn

How to Get Rid of Ice Cream Freezer Burn

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If your ice cream tends to sit in your freezer a while and develop freezer burn, Ted has two different solutions for you. First, you can just slice your round ice cream container as the level of ice cream goes down, so that the top will be flush with the ice cream. The second option is to press a piece of plastic wrap onto the top of the ice cream, then put the lid on.

Tip 3: Make Sour Cream and Cottage Cheese Last Longer

If you buy a big tub of sour cream or cottage cheese and it takes you a while to eat it, Ted suggests putting it in progressively smaller containers. Not only will it free up space in your fridge, but it will keep the product fresh by reducing its exposure to air.

Tip 4: Drink Beer by the Expiration Date

Ted explains that beer is delicate and its quality degrades over time. He recommends being sure to drink your beer by the expiration date to maximize flavor.

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