Sell By, Use By, and Best Before Dates

February 20, 2017


Over the weekend my mom decided to clean out the refrigerator and pantry.  In the process, we got rid of all the expired food.  You would be surprised of how much we threw away.  Sell by, use by, and best before dates can be so confusing.  So, I thought that I would help break it down.  One tip we learned in the process is to write down the date on the item when it actually does expires.  Then we will know exactly when to throw it out.


Sell by date:  This date is used by manufacturers to tell grocers when to remove their product from the shelves, but there is generally still some leeway for home usage.


Use by date:  This date is the product manufacturers recommended date to use the product in order to still get peak quality. After that date, the product quality could decline, and if proper storage measures aren’t used, your health could be at risk.  Many manufacturers voluntarily include "use by" dates because they want their customers to experience their food at its highest quality, in order to grow customer loyalty.


Best before:  These dates as determined by the manufacturer to get the highest quality version of the product, but are not aligned to food safety dates as "use by" and "sell by" dates are.


If you are still confused no worries.  I found this website. It will tell you exactly when to throw something out or how long you have left.

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© 2019 Alex Bradley Jr. Network Inc., LLC/Leonardo Alexander Bradley Jr. Productions Inc., LLC