Confused by “best by,” “sell by,” and “use by”? You’re not alone. In fact, a Harvard University study found that more than 90 percent of Americans throw away perfectly good food due to label confusion—resulting in 398,000 tons of food waste each year. Because, as it turns out, those eggs with a sell-by date don’t suddenly turn rotten at midnight.
Understand what those labels really mean. “Sell by,” “use by,” and “best by” are actually all dates determined by the food manufacturers, and they’re the manufacturers’ best guess as to food quality—not food safety. Basically, they indicate how long a food producer will guarantee their product will still be at peak quality to enjoy.
Excepted from Reader’s Digest