This is relatively easy to see when the product has been damaged. But this is a little more difficult with other foods, so we tend to look for expiration dates for help.
Although the government wants all food manufacturers to use the term “best if used by,” consumers today see “used by,” “selling by,” even “enjoying by,” which can be confusing.
According to the USDA, food expiration dates refer to food quality – not safety – with baby food the only product that requires an expiration date.
The “use by” date refers to the last day the product will be the best in terms of taste, texture and freshness, although it may still be edible afterwards.
Most likely the biggest food fight in the household is about the “sell by” date.
Simply put, the manufacturer does not talk to you. Instead of going to the grocery store, either sell the product on that date or remove it from the shelf.
How do you protect against spoilage if you have stockpiled?
Know this: You can freeze meat, milk and cheese, even though hard cheese will melt easily. You can also freeze an egg if it has been removed from its shell.
The rest of the food can be immediately frozen or consumed within three days.
Patricia Greenberg, sang Gourmet Fitness stuffed with turkey and chicken. Like most, he worried about using it after three days in the fridge.
He took cooked chicken, some vegetables that were previously sauteed, and added the remaining jar of pasta sauce for a temporary casserole.
Another reminder: When it comes to fresh products such as lettuce heads, he suggests removing the outer leaves and giving a green water rinse to make them return.
With overbuying there is a tendency for food waste, so now it’s time to be creative in the kitchen.
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