What Is a Personal Food Life Span?

A personal food life span is the time from the food item's creation to its expiration date. Once a food item has reached its expiration or recommended life span, consuming the food is not recommended.

The life span of food varies based on its type and how it has been stored. For example, meat can expire anywhere from two days to two weeks from purchase. If meat is frozen, the life span may be longer, based on the butcher's recommendations. Condiments, such as ketchup and mustard, typically expire after one year whereas alcohol has a life span extending from three to 10 years.