- A "Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
- A "Best if Used By (or Before)" date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
- A "Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Dating Your Food
There is a lot of confusion about what the dates mean on foods. Here is what the FDA says on their website.
Types of Dates
I would add that you need to add your own dates. By this I mean once you open a bottle or container, the date on it may no longer apply. Mark the outside with the date opened. Usually once you open any container of packaged or prepared food, you start the clock ticking on the quality and safety of the product. There are some exceptions such as pickles or frozen food that remains frozen such as ice cream or vegetable and other items that you only use some and the rest goes back to the freezer. Things like mayonnaise or salad dressings do have a limited use once opened. When in doubt ask the manufacturer. For more information here is the link to FDA’s website
I will post more on food safety in the coming weeks. Have a great day!