date labels for food

When to Follow an Expiration Date

Most people think that an expiration date for food means that it should be thrown out, and it’s a belief that’s been reinforced by time. But expiration dates are more of a ‘use by’ date because food is like rolling something up and down a hill. If you push a boulder up a hill, then eventually it’s going to peak and start rolling downhill.

Food is the same way, and the expiration date labels for food is more of an indication of when the food ‘peaks.’ Take bananas, for instance, they are eaten all over the spectrum. Some eat or use them when they just starting to turn yellow, while others wait for them to be completely ripe, and some enjoy them when they are brown and softer. Just because it is a different color doesn’t mean it’s bad for you.

Using foods at different peaks of freshness can sometimes change the properties of food the item is used in. Bananas peak when they turn yellow but are still useable and other foods are the exact same way. So, don’t be too quick to toss the food if you are a few days past the expiration date.

date labels for food

However, if you are a week or more past the date, then smell the food or take a quick bite. If it smells or tastes foul, then you are safer tossing it. Same with mold or odd coloration, if it doesn’t look or taste right, then make sure to give it a toss.

Eating food past the expiration date isn’t going to increase your chances of being sick or give your food poisoning, it just means you missed the peak date of its freshness, but sometimes it’s better that way. So eat before you throw away, and maybe you’ll find you like the food as it starts rolling downhill.