WASHINGTON (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reminding people that a “sell-by” date is not an expiration date.
The USDA says it’s a date that grocers use to know how long they can display a product for sale.
Closed Dating is applied by a manufacturer to mark the date and time of the product’s production.
Dates do not indicate the product's safety and not required by law. That includes meat, poultry and egg products under the jurisdiction of the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Most food is safe to eat past the date as long as it is handled properly and not spoiled.
Signed of spoilage include, an “off odor, flavor or texture due to naturally occurring spoilage bacteria. If a food has developed such spoilage characteristics, it should not be eaten.”
The USDA estimates that 30 percent of the nation’s food supply is thrown away prematurely.