(PCM) Each and every year American’s will throw away an estimated $160 billion dollars worth of perfectly good food when they believe it is expired based upon the sell-by date printed on the container. There is a big difference between the sell-by date and/or expiration date printed on the packages and the actual time frame in which the food will go bad.
Many people often confuse the sell-by date to be the actual expiration date and even food that has passed the expiration date printed can be safe to consume for several weeks. Sell-by dates are placed on items by the store in which they are sold as a way to ensure shoppers that they are getting the freshest product possible. It does not mean that the food is unsafe to consume after the printed date.
Expiration dates are typically set by the food manufacturers as a way to let shoppers know that up until that printed date the food product will be guaranteed to taste the freshest. It is highly unlikely that anyone will become sick after consuming food that is past printed date stamp for either scenario. Researchers claim that your own senses will be the best test to ensure that food is safe to consume. We can depend on our sense of smell and taste to know when a product has reached it’s true expiration date.
The researchers add to keep in mind that meat and certain pre-packaged foods will tend to expire a bit more quickly, so they urge caution with those particular items.