Billions of pounds of food are wasted each year, due in part to confusion over date labelling. It’s important to note that “use by” dates indicate the date by which something should be eaten to ensure quality. After this date, quality is likely to deteriorate. The “sell by” date, by comparison is directed at stores. This date does not reflect the date when a product is no longer safe; it includes time for consumers to take the item home and eventually consume it. Approximately 1/3 of the life of a product still remains after the sell by date has passed.
Author: Professor Bob Brackett
Director of the Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology