Foods With the Longest Shelf Life

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6. Tea
> Shelf life: 6 to 12 months past “best by” date

Dried tea leaves, whether loose (in a sealed container) or in teabags (in an unopened box) can easily last a year or more if they’re not subjected to moisture or humidity. The tea does tend to lose flavor over time, though.

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7. Powdered milk
> Shelf life: 1 to 1½ years

The color, texture, or flavor of powdered milk might change as it ages, but it will still be perfectly usable and safe for at least 18 months.

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8. Beef jerky
> Shelf life: 1 to 2 years

Beef jerky and its predecessors in various parts of the world were invented to last a long time as sustenance in the wilderness and on long journeys. It’s lean, dry, and salted — all qualities that add to its ability to stay edible for a long time.

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9. Canned fruits and vegetables
> Shelf life: 1 to 2 years past “best by” date

Canning is an extremely efficient means of preserving food. Generally speaking, if canned foods aren’t subjected to intense heat, their contents should stay good for two years or more. Beware, however, of dented cans or those with swollen tops, which may indicate the presence of bacteria inside.

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10. Dried pasta
> Shelf life: 1 to 2 years past “best by” date

Made with just semolina flour and water, then thoroughly dried, this pasta is fairly indestructible. Its richer counterpart, fresh pasta, usually made with eggs, is much more perishable and should always be kept refrigerated.