Food “sell by” and “use before” dates can be confusing. The labels aren’t regulated, these are generated by the food manufacturer and often have little to do with when food actually spoils. The labeling is so confusing that it’s estimated to account for 20% of consumer food waste. Americans throw out about 133 billion pounds of food each year. The FDA did some consumer research and are now recommending that food be labeled with “best if used by” dates because that label has the highest levels of understanding. But remember, the company doesn’t necessarily have your best interest when they’re labeling their food. They want you to buy more, so they don’t care if you throw out good food.

Ignore those “sell by” and “use before” dates

 

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