It’s a common misconception that the date printed on packaged food is a firm deadline for when you should toss it. In reality, one of the only items in the US with a federally-regulated expiration date is infant formula― which is why “sell by” dates and “best if used by (or before)” dates are more of a guideline than a rule.
As Paul VanLandingham, a senior faculty member at the Center for Food and Beverage Management of Johnson & Wales University explained in an interview with WebMD, these numbers refer to food quality rather than food safety. While the former dictates how long a store should display a product to ensure its highest level of quality, the latter refers to long consumers should keep a product before it loses flavor or declines in quality.
When it comes to these 15 food items, you can disregard the date on the package.
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