(ABC NEWS) – Not all food labels are straight forward. And it can be hard to know when food is no longer safe to eat.
For example, if you saw a jar that was passed the “best if used by” date, what would you do?
The “best if used by” date establishes a time frame when the food is at best taste and quality. So, food is often safe to eat, even after passing the “best if used by” date.
On the other hand, the “use by” date is about food safety for perishable foods such as eggs. If you’ve passed the “use by” date, it may be best to throw it out.
What about the “sell by” date? This date gives the time frame of how long the store should display food. Foods can still be good after this date.
So, what can you do to ensure that the food you are pulling out of the fridge is still good to eat?
The FDA recommends keeping perishable foods out for no longer than 2 hours at room temperature — this includes meats, eggs, and produce.
You can also check if your fridge is set at the right temperature, which is at or below 40 degrees F.
And try to keep foods covered, even if you are storing them in the refrigerator or freezer.