What do Expiration Dates really mean?

Surprisingly little.

On 04.07.16 JANET RAUSA FULLER published the article “The Truth About Those Expiration Dates on Your Groceries”  on Epicurious.com. In that article she reveals that most of the dates on foods we buy are truly meaningless.

For instance what does “Sell by” really mean? According to the article “This date is a manufacturer’s way of telling a grocery store how long it should keep the product on its shelves. It’s a business-to-business communication that has nothing to do with whether a food is safe to eat”

What about ‘”Best by,” “Use by,” “Best if used by,” or “Best before”? These all generally mean the date when a manufacturer says a food is no longer at its peak quality and flavor.  It might not taste as good. However, it doesn’t mean it’s not safe to eat after that.’

What does that mean for the budget minded? Caution is in order but “a lot of foods are safe to eat well past whatever date is on the label.”

The article did caution that there are a few products that pregnant women should be wary of due to the risk of listeria contamination. Namely, unpasteurized cheeses and ready-to-eat deli meats.




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