If you’ve ever felt confused about the dates on food products, you’re not alone. Roughly 84% of consumers toss a product if the date on the package, whether called “Use by” or “Sell by” or “best if used by” is reached or passes, found a study of 1,029 consumers done back in 2016, reports the journal Waste Management.
The problem is those terms are not regulated, so food processors are free to sue whatever language they want. And they say the dates just indicate “peak flavor” or when a store should stop displaying a product. None of the terms relates to food safety, reports a story on the survey in Time.
So how do you know when food is spoiled? Follow the old expression “The Nose Knows,” the article suggests. If something smells bad, it is. If it taste bad or looks bad (IE visible mold), toss it.
It’s still consumer beware.