Emergency Preparedness – What Food “Sell-By” Dates Really Mean
Many states require food manufacturers to mark perishable foods with a date so that customers can gauge product freshness. There are no federal regulations requiring products to be dated and there isn’t a uniform system. “Sell-by” dates let stores know how long products can remain on the shelves and are used as guides for rotating stock. Perishable foods can remain good long after this date, dependent on home storage conditions. Cool (38-40 degrees F), dark and dry conditions extend shelf life.
Use your eyes and nose to judge product freshness. Eggs are usually good for three to five weeks past the sell-by date. Milk products typically are good up to seven days past the date. Fresh chicken, turkey, beef, pork or lamb should be cooked or frozen within two to five days of the sell-by date. Unopened canned meats kept cool will easily store two years or more. Vacuum packing keeps air out and freshness in. Unopened peanut butter, mayonnaise, and oils can store for years beyond sell-by dates.
For more information contact (your emergency preparedness specialist).
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