- Use-By: This label is aimed at consumers as a directive of the date by which the product should be eaten; mostly because of quality, not because the item will necessarily make you sick if eaten after the use-by date. However after the use-by date, product quality is likely to go down much faster and safety could be lessened.
- Sell-By: This label is aimed retailers, and it informs them of the date by which the product should be sold or removed from shelf life. This does not mean that the product is unsafe to consume after the date. Typically one-third of a product's shelf-life remains after the sell-by date for the consumer to use at home.
- Best-By: This refers strictly to quality, not safety. This date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
- Expiration Date: This refers to the last date a food should be eaten or used. Last means last -- proceed at your own risk.
The smell and taste are not good enough as indicators of whether or not a food is safe to eat. Store food at appropriate temperatures in refridgerators and freezers, seperating raw from cooked food.
Eat well, stay healthy!