What is the Difference Between Expire On and Best Before?

Do you know the difference between Expire On and Best Before dates? When you buy a product, do you look for a date? Have you been afraid to poisoning yourself by eating an expired product?

Read more: Food Poisoning Symptoms by CDC Food Safety

Expiration Dates:

When you shop at the grocery store, always make sure to check the expiry date. Do not buy if it is expired. Companies add a date on their products for the safety of consumers and also themselves! Products that are required to have an expiry date are often subject to nutrient degradation or bacterial action. Do not trust grocery stores to remove products from their shelves if they are expired! They want the products out of their store, so buyer beware. Sometime groceries will give a price reduction to sell merchandise quicker just before the expiration date. If you know you are going to eat it the same day, why not buying it and save money.

To keep my food purchases longer in my fridge, whenever I buy something with an expiry date, I always choose a later date. Usually, products are at the back of the self and where they are also kept cooler.

Did you know that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency mandate to label 5 types of products with an expiration date?

  • All dairy, milk substitute, and infant formula
  • Nutritional Supplement
  • Meal replacement
  • Formulated liquidb diets
  • Pharmacist-sold foods for very low-energy diets

Read more: Best before dates and expiry dates: 5 things you may not know by CBC News

Best Before (BB) Dates:

Best before is a date from manufacturers to assure freshness of products. After the best before date, the produce might change in flavor, texture, nutritional value, and lose its freshness. It doesn’t mean that the product is no longer safe to eat. The best-before date indicates that if the product has been properly handled and stored properly, the unopened product should be of high quality until the specified best before date. Best-before dates are about food quality and not food safety. Once opened, the food’s shelf life may change. For example, cheese may mould, milk may curdle, and bacteria may affect luncheon meat. You can buy and eat foods after the best-before date has passed. However, for safety reasons, foods that are likely to spoil should be stored properly, and they should be eaten as quickly as possible,  it within a 3-5 day period. You can’t tell whether food is unsafe by its smell or taste.

Remember the Health Canada the best before date doesn’t apply for opened or frozen packages. When the package has been opened and exposed to air, it get contaminated and lose its freshness.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency has a very good chart for how long different foods can be kept in a refrigerator or freezer.

If you buy a frozen product with a best before date in 2 days, when you will get it out of the freezer to the fridge, it should be eaten within 2 days.

To get an idea about the freshness of produce, CBC News gives a very good example with eggs. When an egg is fresh, the white and yolk stay together. After the best by date, the yolk of the egg breaks easier and the egg doesn’t hold together as well. Eating potato chips after the best before date might mean that the chips are not as crunchy and if there were a lot of different dirty hands in the same bag, the chips might be contaminated. YIKES!!

Indeed, you can find deals on fresh produce such as bananas which are getting too dark to sell. I usually peel, chop, and freeze them. I use my frozen bananas in my smoothies or whenever I need them for baking. I do the same for vegetables. I chop and use them in stews or soups.

Read more: Frozen Banana Recipes from BBC Good Food

Do you still scrap mould off from cheese and on the top of your yogurt then still eat them? Ellie Topp, professional home economist, suggests you stop doing this and throw products into the trash. The waste products of the mould and bacteria can seep into the cheese and yogurt and lead to food poisoning.

It is not worth it to get poisoned because a product has stayed too long in your fridge. Again, check for a date, smell, taste it and look for change in color. When in doubt, throw it out!

Read more:
11 Clever Ways to Save Money on Groceries Despite Rising Food Costs for 2021 by Abstract Fitness
Fresh and whole food are located on the perimeter of the grocery stores by Abstract Fitness