Misunderstanding the meaning of date labeling terminology and different types of date labels (or date marking) on packaged food is one contributor to food waste. In light of that, it is important for consumers to understand the meaning of the dates they see on food packages.

As a result of date labeling-related developments in the United States and at a global level, there is momentum toward the use of the following date labeling terminology and meanings:

Best if used by: This date refers to product quality. Contents may still be okay to eat after this date.

Use by: This date may refer to quality or safety. Products with these dates should either be consumed, frozen, or discarded by this date.

Sell-by: If used, this date is for the attention of those working at the retail level, not consumers.

After watching the video, check out our date labeling toolkit for more detailed information and shareable resources on the various date labels found on packaged foods.

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