It’s a date
Wouldn’t it be easier if there was only 1 date on food to help you decide if it’s ok to eat? Until that changes here’s a quick guide to the dates you need to pay attention to.
Found on fresh foods this is a safety date so it’s the one you need to pay attention to. Eating food after the use by date increases the likelihood of food poisoning. You can freeze food on its use by date so there’s no need to throw food away just because you can’t eat it today.
Is all about the taste and quality. After this date the producer thinks the food isn’t going to taste as good as it could. Printed on crisps, tins of peas and drinks, you can taste the food to decide whether you’re going to eat it or not.
The exception is eggs. For some unknown reason, by a quirk of EU law, they’re printed with a best before instead of a use by. You need to pay attention to this best before date until the law is changed to make it a use by instead!
Sell by and Display until
Both used by shops you buy food from – ignore it if you find it in your fridge and look for the use by date instead.