With the cost of food, is it "Best-before" or "still-good after"?

By Dori Modney (@Dori_Modney on Twitter) with files from The Canadian Press
January 30, 2018 - 3:54pm

LETHBRIDGE -   There is often a lot of confusion for consumers around how long perishable and non-perishable foods should be kept. Many don't understand the best-before dates on packaged foods and may wind up discarding food that is still good to consume.
 
There are several factors to consider and it all depends on storage, packaging and whether the container is open or not.

Some food items must be consumed before the ``Best-Before'' date.

They include fresh meats, fish and seafood and dairy products, which can easily change to allow for the growth of dangerous bacteria.

Low-risk perishables such as fresh whole fruits and vegetables, yogurt, butter, cheese and eggs can still be consumed after the ``Best-Before'' date. They can go bad, but generally don't allow dangerous bacteria to grow. 
 
The same goes for non-perishables like dried cereals, jams, sauces and condiments, which can usually still be consumed after the ``Best-Before'' date because they generally don't allow for bacterial growth.  However, flavour, taste and texture may diminish.
 
Items like dried beans and pasta also have a much longer shelf life, if stored properly.
 
Health Canada has information on How to read food date labels and packaging  
 
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency also has information on Date labelling of pre-packaged food.
 
 

As of December 2018, cattle producers require prescriptions for livestock antibiotics

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