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Nutrition Q & A

What Do the Dates Stamped on Food Packages Mean?

Many food products now include open dating on the label or packaging. This date helps the store know how long to display a product. It also helps consumers know the time limit to purchase or use the product at its best quality. The most common labels are sell-by, use-by and expiration date. Here's what they mean:

Sell-by Date – This date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. Buy the product before the date expires.

Use-by Date – This is the last date the product will maintain its optimum freshness, flavor and texture.

Expiration Date – If you haven't used the product by this date, it's time to toss it.


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