Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Can You Eat Foods Past the ‘Sell By’ Date?

The New York Times reports:
The vast majority of food date labels, including “sell by,” “use by” and “best if used by,” are food manufacturers’ suggestions for peak freshness and taste, rather than indicators of food safety or health concerns. Such labels can be difficult to navigate, though, because the definitions of the terms aren’t standardized, and labeling practices can vary by product type and manufacturer.

As a general rule, most foods can be consumed days, weeks or even months past the dates printed on packaging. “Our bodies are well equipped to detect when food is spoiled,” said Dana Gunders, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group. “The food will taste funny or smell bad, or look slimy.” In most cases, she said, the worst that might happen is that you’ll get a stomachache from food that has gone bad.

An important exception, Ms. Gunders said, is food that has grown moldy, since some types of mold can produce toxins. She recommends you freeze foods like sliced bread that you won’t finish within a few days and store cheese in wax paper, which will keep it fresh longer than plastic wrap will.
An article worth your time.