When doing your food shopping, you need to be very careful with the "best before" and "use by" mentions, especially if you are pregnant or if you have little ones at home.


While "best before" indicates that the food is still safe to consume a few days after the date, the "use by" should be strictly followed to prevent any food poisoning.


Surprisingly though, some food actually never go off. Because they are highly concentrated in sugar, fat or salt, the degradation process is almost non-existent.


1. Ghee



This clarified butter originating from India is produced by heating butter to remove the milk solids and water, which makes it virtually 100% satured fat. 



2. Jarred vegetables



Kept in sterilised jars in a preserving liquid, vegetables can be kept for years, especially if stored in a dark cool place.



3. Stock cubes



Made mostly with salt, the chicken, beef or vegetable stock cubes are absolutely safe to use, even years after buying them.



4. Canned food



Although they usually contain a "best before" mention, canned food virtually never expires. If you are using an old can, just be careful that it isn't swollen, as it would mean it is no longer safe to consume.



5. Spices



Ground spices, such as cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cumin or garam masala lose their flavour over time, but they are harmless to use even after the use-by date.



6. White flour and cornflour



White flour and cornflour can lose their nutritional value overtime, but they are safe to consume almost indefinitely. Be careful with whole-wheat flour which does go off, and self-raising flour which loses its leavening properties within a few months after opening.


7. Dry pulses and beans



Contrary to fresh vegetables and fruits, dry beans, lentils or chickpeas contain very little water which gives them a long shelf-life.


8. Pasta and rice



For the same reason as pulses, their very low water content, pasta and rice can be safely consumed years after buying them.