Is That Food Really Expired?

Is That Food Really Expired?

( – Have you ever taken notice of the dates marked on the food you buy from the store? We can often misinterpret these dates, and many people waste food that’s still good to eat. There are even some foods that don’t expire at all, like the ones in the video below. What exactly do all these dates and markings mean?

Best Before/By

These dates estimate how long the food has until its freshness expires. Going past this date doesn’t mean the food is actually expired; it simply means the food is at its best within that time frame. Most foods are safe well beyond their “best by” dates; however, flavor and other quality characteristics may start to decline.

Use By

These labels indicate the timeframe in which food is still at top quality both in nutrition and premium quality characteristics. For example, refrigerated dough may lose its rising power if used after this date. Baby formula may not have as much nutritional value. You can still consume food after its “use by” date, but it may not be at its best.

Sell By

Stores use sell by dates to indicate how long to have a product on the shelves. Stores must pull products after their “sell by” dates, although it’s still legal to sell them. Food is usually only safe to consume within one week of this cutoff.

Expiration Date

The expiration date is pretty self-explanatory. Foods that are past this date aren’t safe to consume because bacteria or other microbes may be present. If you eat foods past their expiration dates, you are likely to become sick; in some extreme cases, you may even die. Never attempt to eat expired foods.


Most foods have expiration dates, and several factors play into how long each can last. For example, canned and dried foods both have long shelf lives, but they’re far from equal. Check out the differences between dried food and canned food to learn the pros and cons of both.

Did you know the difference between these labels? Was this information useful for you? Let us know by replying to your email! We would love your feedback!

Copyright 2021,