The exception being the higher the fat content the shorter the shelf life. If you are not going to use whole wheat flour within a couple months from purchase then you should store it refrigerated in a tightly sealed container.According to the Dairy Council of California - "The shelf life of milk is affected by several factors including how it is handled before and after it is purchased.Make sure it remains well-sealed to prevent contamination from dust. Although it is not legislated (except for a few items) this is the date by which the seller should sell the product.This does not mean the food is unsafe to eat after this date. It is best to use or freeze fish the day you purchase it. Different types of cheese are usable for longer periods of times than other.If you purchase fresh fish cello-wrapped from a grocery store, freeze or use it within 2 days of the sell-by date. Fresh cheeses such as cream cheese, queso fresco, fromage blanc are typically OK up to about 2 weeks after the sell by date.Read complete article on food expiration dates including a chart with times foods can be used past their printed dates.
Don't use food from badly-dented cans (small dents are not a problem).But for storage more than a couple of weeks you should freeze butter.Butter freezes very well make sure to package in a freezer bag or container.All of these products remain wholesome for several years if stored in a cool dry location.Dry leavening agents (baking powder, baking soda) will probably be marked with a "best used" date and if stored tightly sealed they most likely usable beyond that date.
While probably not life threatening it's best to avoid the problem by storing bottled soft drinks in a dark location.