At one point or another, we have all debated eating or throwing away a food product after the date on its label passed. But do we need to throw away food as soon as the date on the label arrives? Oftentimes you will see the phrases “Best if used by,” “Sell by” and “Use by,” among others. It can be confusing but these dates refer to product quality and flavor and are not expiration dates. Next time you notice a food product whose label date has passed, check for signs of spoilage like color, consistency or texture before deciding to consume or throw away. This is another small step you can take to reduce food waste at home!
For more information, watch “What Do Food Expiration Dates Really Mean?” created by our colleagues at NC State’s Homegrown or this video from the FDA. For more tips on reducing food waste, refer to last Friday’s daily tip: Reducing Food Waste 101.
Have you ever wondered if it is safe to eat those roasted vegetables you left on the counter overnight or if you can store butter at room temperature? For all of your food safety related questions, look to the Risky or Not? podcast!