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Many of us check the date on the package and then if it has passed, we toss it! But actually the date doesn't always mean that it's not safe to eat or drink, it may be just a quality issue. The "use by" date on infant formula is an exception. The date on infant formula is a safety, not a quality, issue. Do not buy or use baby formula after its "use by" date. All other food products are a quality, not a safety issue.
A "use by" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The manufacturer determines the date for best quality. According to USDA, if the "best buy" date or "sell by" date, expires during home storage, the product should be safe and of good quality if handled properly. That's where following good food safety handling techniques is important.
For a complete storage chart, visit the USDA website. Source: USDA.gov
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