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What Are the Facts Behind 'Sell By' Dates?

Egg Expiration Date

Story at-a-glance -

  • “Sell by” dates are there to help retailers ensure proper product turnover when stocking shelves; they’re not a measure of food safety
  • “Best by” or “best before” dates are set by the manufacturer to suggest when to consume the food by for best flavor or quality; they’re also not a measure of food safety
  • A “use by” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality; while it’s typically recommended to follow the “use by date,” many foods can be safely consumed even after they’re “expired”

By Dr. Mercola

Every year, people in the U.K. throw away more than 93 million gallons of milk, 733,000 tons of potatoes and 473,000 tons of bread, according to U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury's. Similarly, the average U.S. family of four wastes more than 2 million calories, which equates to $1,500 worth of food, every year.


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