Supercharge Your Spring Cleaning

There’s something about spring that triggers the desire for a fresh start. But in addition to removing dust and cleaning windows, this is the perfect time to check out your refrigerator, pantry and bathroom for outdated products.
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Don’t rely on the “sniff test” to determine what foods are safe to eat.

You’ll need:

  • Paper and pencil or pen --  to make a list of items that will need to be replaced (Editor’s Note: create your customizable Giant Eagle® Shopping Lists using the Giant Eagle website or the Giant Eagle apps for iPhone and Android, then just check off the items as you go)
  • A magnifying glass to check out the small print on “use by” dates 
  • Garbage can and recycling bin for discarded containers

Refrigerator/freezer
Don’t rely on the “sniff test” to determine what foods are safe to eat. Even if they’re not smelly or fuzzy, expired item can still cause illness.  

  • Condiments and dressings – discard anything that has exceeded its “use by” dates to the dates on condiments and dressings from past holidays or last year’s
    barbeque season
  • Cheese – unless the cheese has expected mold (like blue cheese), spots of blue and green mean the cheese is ripe for the garbage – don’t try to trim away the mold; it’s probably already spread into the interior
  • Frozen foods – badly-wrapped containers or those pushed to the back may contain ice crystals; while a little freezer burn doesn’t constitute a health hazard, these foods will suffer from loss of liquid and juiciness, flavor and even nutrients

 Pantry and spice rack

  • Canned, bottled and boxed items – check expiration dates; quality, flavor and nutrition are altered by age…not enhanced
  • “Natural” and preservative-free foods – these have very short shelf lives; if you purchased them for the holidays, chances are they’ve expired
  • Flour – often emptied from the original packaging into a storage container, white (room-temperature) or whole wheat flour (refrigerated) should be replaced after 6 to 8 months (Tip: flour stored in a freezer has a shelf  life of 1 to 2 years)
  • Herbs and Spices – herbs lose potency after one year; ground spices can be kept for two years; check by rubbing a small amount in your hand – if the aroma is fresh and rich, it’s okay to keep


Bathroom

  • Health and beauty items – these may not age gracefully, resulting a loss of quality, effectiveness and even safety; discard mascara after 4 months, liquid foundation, concealer, nail polish, cream and gel cleansers: 12 months, powder: two years, eyeshadow: three years 
  • Medications – replace products that have reached or exceeded their “expiration” or “best if used by” date; it may take a magnifying glass to locate these, but your health is worth the extra effort

Questions? Contact our registered dietitians at nutrition@gianteagle.com.

Brought to you by the Registered Dietitians at Giant Eagle and Market District®.