Here’s What You Need to Know About Food Expiration Dates


Have you ever looked at the little date on your food packaging and considered if it is time to throw away that pack of chicken or that milk carton? As it happens, those "expiration" dates may not be as important as we have been told.

Recognizing Expiration Labels

Food expiry dates are not the rigid deadlines they would seem to be, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These dates reflect more on preserving food quality than they do on proving food safety. Therefore, stop for a minute and evaluate the whole picture before quickly discarding that yogurt container merely because its "Best if Used By" date has gone.

Various Expiration Dates

On your food containers, you have most likely come across a range of words including "Best if Used By," "Use by," and "Sell by." Many times, these labels are misleading and cause us to feel that food is inevitably dangerous to ingest after a certain date passes. Actually, these labels are more about when the product tastes and looks best, that is, during its prime quality. Even after these dates have passed, the product might still be very safe to eat. "Best if used by" shows the date the food tastes and is most fresh. "Use By" advises the final date advised for product consumption to guarantee optimal quality. Designed for stores, "Sell By" will let businesses decide how long to show a product for sale.

Minining Food Waste:

Finding out that about thirty percent of the food produced in America goes to waste annually is frightening. Our inclination to mostly depend on expiry dates is one of the offenders behind this amazing figure. We toss food that may still be eaten, therefore affecting not just our own financial situation but also environmental problems.

So, just how long can you keep some common foods after their so-called expiration dates?