Does Product Dating Waste Food?

Best Before Food Label on Can

It is common knowledge that as a whole we all waste food. Either in small or large amounts, food gets thrown away for a variety of reasons. Leftovers often go bad because no one wants to eat them for a second time. Small amounts of food go unused when there is not enough to be used in a recipe. Recipes that don't turn out the way they were intended can also lead to foods being thrown away. A main reason for food being discarded is because of expiration and "Sell By" dates.

The difference between "Sell By" dates and "Expiration" Dates is simple. Sell By dates are put on packages so that they can be removed from store shelves if they have not been sold within a certain time frame. Expiration dates are put on foods to remind purchasers that the food has a shelf life and that use of after a certain date has passed may lead to health issues. Even processed foods have a shelf life. Foods that are kept after that date has passed may be spoiled or unfit for human consumption.

Although it is important to remember to use food before it expires, it is also important to learn how to properly store food and to only use what is needed at one time. These two things alone could save millions of dollars of food each year. Donating leftover food items to a food pantry or freezing leftovers so they can be used at a later date are simple measures that prevent the loss of perfectly good foodstuffs. You should also check labels before buying food items to make sure they are not expired or close to their expiration date.


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