But even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly and kept at 40°F or below.
You can also consult should buy the product before the sell-by date expires.
But you can still store it at home for some time beyond that date, as long as you follow safe storage procedures (check the Keep It or Toss It database for the shelf life of specific foods).
This recent news headline shows just how important it is to label food and non-food items in your kitchen.
You’ve assembled everything you need for the perfect deli sandwich: Genoa salami, prosciutto, some thinly sliced provolone and a crusty baguette.
To top it all off, you reach into the fridge for your favorite spicy mustard.
Your best bet for gauging whether an unopened shelf-stable product with this type of date is still of satisfactory quality is to simply smell and examine it first.
Always discard foods that have developed an off odor, flavor or appearance.
If you’re confused by these terms, you’re not alone. Take our quiz below, test your knowledge and learn what they really mean. Food with a “use by” date of today should be discarded tomorrow. Serving a product a few days past the date on the container is not illegal and, if the food has been handled properly, should be perfectly safe and still of excellent quality.
However, sometimes a product will sit in your walk-in or dry storage room longer than anticipated.