The expiration date food system is confusing. Not only is there more than one date to try to understand ― best-by, sell-by, etc. ― but a lot of times those dates can be totally off. And consumers aren’t sure how to read them, so a lot of good food gets tossed because of those dates.

Actually, some of those foods don’t go bad. Ever. That’s right, some foods will keep indefinitely, even if they come with a date.

Here are listed below some foods that never spoil:

White rice

Brown rice may spoil but white rice would not. Keep it in a bag or a box and store it. Even if you take it out after months, it will still be good enough to use. White, wild, arborio, jasmine and basmati rice are safe from damage as long as you keep it an airtight container and away from bugs.

Dried beans

Dried beans are said to have an indefinite shelf life. Store them for two years in a row and they won’t lose their nutritional value at all. The beans may take some time to soften and may not soften completely but they won’t lose their nutritional value.


Table salt, sea salt or kosher salt will continue to be safe for years and years.


Keeping sugar fresh is not the challenge; the challenge is keeping it from turning hard. Sugar doesn’t spoil because it does not support bacterial growth. All you need to do is keep it in an airtight container safe from bugs and moisture.


Honey can be kept indefinitely and this food item does not have a shelf life at all. After some time it may crystallize but that does not affect the quality or its safety in any way. You can still continue to have honey. You can keep an open jar of crystallized honey in warm water to bring it back to what it was.

Instant coffee

Keep it in the deep freeze and instant coffee will last for years and years, sealed or not.

Soy Sauce

The consensus seems to be that it depends on the type and which additives a particular brand uses, but when left unopened, soy sauce will last a very long time. Even after it has been opened, the salty condiment can keep for years in your refrigerator.