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Expiration Dates (Video)

The USDA states that even if the expiration date on your food item has passed, it should still be safe to eat if handled properly until the spoilage is evident.

Watch the video above as Savi Joshi, Chef Educator at 18 Reasons, talks through some of the confusion around date labels and how to ensure you're getting the most out of your food.

Food date labels may not be as cut and dry as imagined: 

  • "Best if Used By/Before" indicates best flavor or quality. It is not a safety date.
  • "Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale for inventory management. It is not a safety date.
  • "Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. It is not a safety date except for when used on infant formula*.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), foods are still safe for consumption after these expiration dates pass, but make sure to look out for an off odor, flavor, or texture that mean the food has spoiled and should not be eaten.

Read our blog post from Chef Partner, Food ShiftMoving Beyond Expiration Dates

Learn more and download the Deciphering Dates on Products resource from Save The Food on our Resource Page.

Don't miss Savi's other fun and informative kitchen tip videos for:

More recipes, cooking tips, and videos from 18 Reasons:

About Savi Joshi 

While her day job is management consulting, Savi is a volunteer at 18 Reasons through their 18th Street Kitchen and Cooking Matter series. As an avid home cook and baker, Savi also runs a pop up bakery in San Francisco, Lil' Menace Bakeshop (IG: @lilmenacebakeshop) and loves documenting her zero waste food adventures (IG: @savi.eats).

Learn more about 18 Reasons in this article from Edible East Bay.

18 Reasons is a Chef Partner of the Stop Food Waste campaign. They are a nonprofit cooking school on a mission to empower our community with the confidence and creativity needed to buy, cook, and eat good food every day.

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