Best Before

On Saturday night I had my sister and bro in law over for an impromptu dinner. My brother in law was getting something out of the fridge when he asked me “Beth, how long has that copha been in your fridge?”.

Good question Chris, good question. Let’s see.


I put my thinking cap on, and recalled that Mum bought it down for a long weekend here a few, ahem, years ago to make chocolate crackles for my niece’s birthday. I looked back on the blog, this was the weekend, and yes it was in 2011.


Checked the best before date and was pleasantly surprised…it’s only really a year past it now. Still didn’t chuck it out though, I put it back into the fridge, to you know, age for a few more years?!


Then we started having a convo about the oldest things in our fridges. They have moved quite a bit over the past few years so have culled the worst, and I have cleaned out the fridge not that long ago so it’s the mustards and pickles where the culprits would be, and it wasn’t too bad all things considered.


Although I suspect these bad boys I definitely bought a LONG time ago now would have some extra probiotics in them now.


How about your fridge? Got something really old in there now?
Why do we hold onto these things?
Is there anything you could do with said item?
Me? Well apparently I collect Copha blocks now….it might just sit there a little longer.


  1. Ange Morrison says

    My mother in law had a jar of vegemite that had expired in 99, found in 2014

  2. I have just found a box of dry yeast sachets in my cupboard bought with the best of intentions. The box has never been opened …. the use by date was 2 years ago …. oops

  3. I clean out the fridge quite regularly however I was hanging onto a jar of preserved lemons that I used once in a Lamb Tagine. I can’t even remember when I made it. I know it’s been in the 8 years that we have lived in this house.
    The preserved lemons have now been thrown out. Once a jar of something gets to the point where I’m not game to open it, I figure it’s time.

  4. Haha. I swear. No matter how many times I go through my pantry, I will always miss something. I found porridge sachets that expired in 2012 the other week. It just doesn’t make sense!
    My husband is the weird hoarder around here. He likes to keep empty olive oil bottles and sauce bottles in the cupboard for reasons I cannot understand.

  5. What about when there wasn’t ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ dates. My mum just smelled anything and tossed it if it wasn’t quite right. I don’t take much notice on things like mustard and spices etc. I do believe that copha would last forever unless it went rancid and then you would know. My daughter called me the other day to ask if self raising flour 6 months out of date would be OK. I told her if it isn’t moving with weevils it will be just fine and it was. One question, how can yoghurt be out of date?

  6. On cleaning out her deceased mother-in-laws pantry my sister found items that expired in 1989 in 2013 ! And no she didn’t pass away from food poisoning

  7. When my parents moved house they had items that didn’t even have use by dates on them. Things like dried herbs and sauces. Yuk
    They were tossed of course but my parents hung onto everything!

  8. My sister and I revamped our Mums pantry one year for Mothers Day. Bought fancy containers, labelled everything.. We found spices that expired in 1978. So, so wrong ? We never have let her live it down!

  9. I have a can of chickpeas that has moved houses with me 4 times since 1999!! Although it has no use by date I now won’t throw it out or use it for sentimental reasons!!!

  10. I cleared out a cupboard at my parents house last year, and found half a dozen little bottles of food colouring and flavouring that I recall from my (70’s) childhood, at least two of which predated decimalisation in the UK

  11. It says ‘best before’, not ‘use by’ so you still could be okay on that copha.

  12. When I was about 15 I wanted to make rice pudding, found some condensed milk in the pantry, opened it up…called out to mum to check it was ok. It was tinged a pinky reddish color and had set into the tin shape, it kind of wobbled but stayed in tin shape when I tipped in to the sink! Best before date? 1986. The year I was born!! It had moved house about 4 times and all of those times it was past the best before date, good one mum ?

  13. We used to tease my mother about her abilities to grow things with hair on them in the back of the fridge. It seems that I have inherited her abilities.

    I had a tin of pie apples that moved house with me 3 times over a number of years. Luckily Australian border control does not allow food to be brought into the country – otherwise I’m sure that it would have made the trip over when we moved here.

  14. I’ll be joining you in the vintage copha club…mine is Best before 31.10.14. It’s neither green nor furry, so I still don’t see any reason to chuck it out!!

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