Just What Do Expiration Dates Mean?
Best If Used By/Before: Indicates how long the product will be at its best flavor or quality. After that date, it’s not necessarily unsafe to consume, but the quality might be degraded.
Sell By: Tells the store how long to keep an item on the shelf and when to take it off. Milk is a good example. A grocer has to sell a gallon of milk by that date, but milk past the sell by date is often still usable. When properly stored, milk, like other products will keep for several days after the sell by date. Before tossing, give it the “sniff” test. Odds are it’s still good.
Use By: Is the final recommended day to use the product for best quality. Eggs have a “use by” date which is similar to a “best if used by” date. That’s important; it’s hard to know when eggs go bad.
Absolute Dates: The expiration date on infant formula is absolute. Do not open or use expired formula.
“Work With What You Got!”
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