THOSE DARN LABELS

As I was cleaning out my refrigerator the other day, I started thinking about what should stay and what should be thrown out. I hate throwing out food but don’t want to make anyone sick! Does anyone else have trouble understanding what food labels mean? Sometimes it seems like there should be a simple answer.

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Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash
Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash
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MIKE'S DISCOUNT FOODS IN PRINCETON

Mike’s Discount Foods of Princeton Minnesota took to social media to explain to people how to know what is expired, and what you don’t have to toss.

Since the dates that food companies put on their products are not regulated, it’s sometimes hard to know if you should keep something or just get rid of it.

Our friends at Mike’s Discount Foods in Princeton also seem to recognize that we don’t always understand what our labels are trying to tell us.

Mike recently put this message out to social media to help us understand what labels mean.

DATES ON PACKAGES

Some foods are good for a year; however, that’s not always the case. Some foods are only good for 30 days after the date on the package. Foods that are typically good for a year include:

  • Frozen foods
  • Canned goods including soup, condiments, fruit, veggies, and canned meats
  • Cereal, pasta, dried beans, and baking mixes

The following are typically good for up to 30 days after the date on the package:

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Eggs

WHAT DOES ‘BEST BY’ OR ‘BEST IF USED BY MEAN?

This one can be extra confusing. ‘Best By’ or ‘Best If Used By’ simply means that the food inside that package is still safe to eat; but will have the BEST FLAVOR if you eat it by the date listed. Eventually, however, you’ll have to decide if it needs to go; or if you can still eat it.

‘USED BY’ OR ‘EXPIRATION’ DATES

This tag is the last date that the product will be at its peak quality. It is still safe to eat it, in most cases.

PACKAGING AND MANUFACTURING DATES

These labels show the date used by the manufacturer for tracking. It is NOT an expiration date, Which means the label is not related to the food quality or safety of that product.

‘SELL BY’ DATE

This message isn’t necessarily for you to read. It tells the store how long to put the product on display. Typically it is still SAFE to eat past the date listed; but again, there will be a time when you are going to know for sure you shouldn’t eat it!

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