What do Food Expiration Dates Really Mean

Okay, so, you’re not the kind who stops in the mid of a supermarket and reads the entire list of ingredients on the carton of a product that you’re about to buy. You’re the kind who’re driven by the name, and the moment you locate the product, you drop it in the shopping basket. I think, I know. Take for example, you prefer Diet Coke over any other drink, an established brand name that it is. Paying a few dollars for that, you go home, take out the coke, and begin to drink, only to realize that it doesn’t smell like Diet Coke at all! What’s the first thing that strikes your mind? Have the Coke guys changed their trademark taste? Nope. Is it Diet Coke that you picked and not anything else? Not at all. That’s when, you read the words in black scribbled over the can, and realize that the Coke you were about to consume was expired. Conked. Perished. Dead.

Ohhhh, is all you say. So, got a fluttering peek of what expiry dates mean? They refer to the quality, which automatically questions the safety of a food product you’re consuming. Canned or packaged food products come with an expiry date, which means it’s unhealthy to consume them after a certain amount of period, considering the fact that not only does the food tend to become stale, the packaging gives way to a number of harmful bacteria inside. The following words make it easy to understand what food expiry dates stand for, and what is the importance of the same. You wouldn’t want to buy a product without checking the expiry date of the same hereafter. Trust me on that.

The Truth About Food Expiry Dates

Food expiry date refers to the date till which the food product inside the package is safe to consume, and that its quality deteriorates after that certain date. These dates are often assigned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States and America, which contribute to providing quality and safety to food products. This means, that if a product carton says that its expiry date is ‘June 30, 2011’, you should trash the product for the sake of yours and your family’s health. Today, almost all packaged food products have in written their Manufacturing Date as well as their Expiry Date. Many others quote the period during which you can consume a particular food product. For example, a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar can be consumed within 1 year from the production date, which means, it’s safe to eat the chocolate bar anytime during the year it was manufactured. However, if you preserve the chocolate bar beyond its expiry date, it may be unhealthy to eat it considering a few ingredients inside it that tend to ruin the flavor and the color. However, chocolate alone does not have a specific expiry period.

From now on, anytime you read words like ‘best used before’, ‘best use by’, ‘MFG DATE’, or ‘EXP DATE’, you know how to bring your brain cells to use, calculate, and grab a product that has the longest expiry date. You know, either you take some efforts to make sure you aren’t picking up an unhealthy product, or you simply avoid the expiration hassle by picking products that don’t have an expiry. However, products such as bread, cheese, milk, juice, and ketchups should never, never be bought without considering the expiry date.

All right, above all, you don’t need to totally rely on the expiry dates of your products, since, many products lose their quality and produce harmful bacteria when stored in unfavorable circumstances. For instance, even if your milk carton says you can drink this milk anytime up to 2 weeks, you can’t leave the carton on your terrace, and forget about it! The general guidelines of storage of milk say that you need to store milk and milk products in a refrigerator so that they don’t get spoiled. Along with checking the expiry dates, ensuring your products are stored safely is an important move you can’t ignore. All in all, the significance of checking the expiry date is only understood well after you’ve had a not-so-good experience with the food you’ve bought. To save yourself from such instances, sniff the food, check all the lingo that’s associated with the term ‘expiry date’ on your food product, and then, shell out your precious dollars.