Best by – Use by – Sell by – Best if used by – Freeze by – Enjoy by dates have little meaning

Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America. 40 percent, 160 billion pounds of food in the U.S. goes uneaten every year.

91 percent of consumers occasionally throw food away based on the ‘sell by’ date out of a mistaken concern for food safety even though none of the date labels actually indicate food is unsafe to eat.

Chris Bernstein of the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said “products may have a ‘sell by’ date of, say, April 1, but they could be good in your pantry for another 12 or 18 months.

A lot of people mistakenly think there is some sort of government standard for ‘best by’ dates and that you have to throw out food once the date is passed. The truth is it’s the manufacturer who comes up with those dates, and much of the time the food is perfectly safe to eat well after the date has passed.

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Why is common sense so uncommon?
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6 responses to “Best by – Use by – Sell by – Best if used by – Freeze by – Enjoy by dates have little meaning

  1. I agree but the thought of eating stuff so old is gross with very few exceptions. Eat fresh, eat local.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dairy, fish and sea foods in general have a short shelf life and should be frozen or consumed soon, very soon after purchase.
      Happy Gardening


    • Grin … in many/most cases no one will know if that bowl of corn flakes are 2 weeks old or 2 years old.
      I do know that everyone does not have this option but, no food goes to the trash bin. Big smile… I have dogs, pigs and chickens that take care of any thing that I do not consume..
      Happy Gardening

      Liked by 1 person

      • True. I guess I am just trying to practice not buying overly processed foods. As I looked at boxes of cereal just yesterday and had to remind myself to keep it moving.


  2. Worked as a food auditor for the Kroger Corp.for several years.. Food dating can be a good thing also.. I have seen food that is not rotated correctly, not displayed correctly and not attractive many times at stores. Raw Fish is one item that you should not eat more than a day or two past the sell by date it can be very hazardous if over a week old.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I should have said, many products like vegetables, fruits, berries, grain based products are often safe long after sell by/Use by dates.
      Happy Gardening


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