The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) estimates that 30 percent of food is lost or wasted at the retail and consumer level. Confusion over the meaning of dates applied to food products can result in consumers discarding wholesome food.
Except for infant formula and baby food (California Retail Food Code, Section 114094.5), code dates represented with, for example, "sell by", "use by", "best by", "freeze by", "best before", or "best if used by" labels have no impact on food safety and only indicate quality/freshness.
The USDA’s free FoodKeeper App will help you maximize the freshness and quality of food items. By doing so you will be able to keep items fresh longer (and out of the landfill) than if they were not stored properly. The FoodKeeper App was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service, with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute. Look up specific foods and beverages: Download FoodKeeper here for Apple App Store and Google Play devices , or view on your desktop .