Decoding food expiration dates

Published on April 17, 2011   ·   No Comments

Dietitian discusses difference between Sell-By, Use-By and Expiration Dates; Also, foods you can keep longer than label says

Dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot spoke with Rebecca Jarvis on how long is food still good after the date on the packaging has expired.

(CBS News)

It’s a question millions of us try to answer every day: How long is food safe to eat after its sell-by date has passed?

On “The Early Show on Saturday Morning,” dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot, author of “The F-Factor Diet,” shared some advice for this dietary dilemma and what the dates stamped on food products really mean.

Zuckerbrot explained the three most common dates are Sell-By Date, Use-By Date, and Expiration Date. But what do they mean?

Sell-By Date: Refers to the last day a retailer can display a product for sale; typically a food is safe to eat for 10 days after the Sell-by Date if refrigerated properly.

Use-By Date: Refers to the last day a product will maintain its optimum freshness, flavor, and texture. Beyond this date, the product begins to deteriorate although it is still edible.

Expiration Date: Means what it says – if you haven’t used a product by this date, toss it.

Zuckerbrot pointed out a surprising fact: with the exception of baby food and infant formula, dating is not required by U.S. federal law.

So how do you know what is good and what is not safe to eat?

Zuckerbrot shared how these food products are labeled and how long it’s safe to eat them:

Read More: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/04/16/earlyshow/saturday/main20054570.shtml

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