Recognize the significance of the labels.
"Sell by," "use by," and "best by" are all dates set by food producers, and they represent the makers' best estimate of food quality rather than food safety. In essence, they show how long a food producer guarantees that their product will remain at top quality for consumption.
And there's no federal agency in charge of overseeing how those dates are used, despite Congress's attempts (and failures) in recent years to standardize the labeling and clear up the uncertainty. It's likely safe to consume for days or weeks after the sell-by, use-by, or best-by date has passed, depending on the product and how it's been handled.
Ignore the expiration date.
“The sell-by date is essentially simply for the stores themselves,” according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, so the manufacturer may let them know when a product is past its prime and needs to be removed off store shelves. (Once again, it could be perfectly tasty and safe for a long time after that date.)
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