What do those food expiration labels really mean?

Food expiration date labels are confusing. The most common are “Sell by”, “Use by” and “Best by”, but what do they all mean? First of all, they all have very different meanings and it’s not they’re not all an indication that the food is bad. Here’s the lowdown:

  • “Sell by” tells retailers when products should be sold or removed from shelves.
  • “Best by” indicates the suggested dates that consumers should use their products by.                            Neither means that the product is unsafe to eat by the given date
  • “Use by” or “Best if Used by” is the best one to follow. It means that food may not be at its best quality past the listed date.

How to read food labels