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Ask the Expert Archive

I would like to know if I buy ground beef and the sell by date is Feb.9 is it still ok to eat? It has been in the refidgerator,

The sell date on a package is a voluntary mark that indicates the last date perishables should be sold to ensure top quality. Retailers may take into account that the product may be stored at home after the sell-by date, but it can vary by store. The color, odor and appearance of the meat will give you clues as to whether it has spoiled.  Another type of date on packages is the “Use By” date. It is another voluntary phrase that indicates the last day a manufacturer believes a product will be at its peak of quality. The product may still be edible after that date.  The “Best If Used By” date tells consumers how long the product will retain its best flavor or quality, as determined by the manufacturer. The phrase is generally found on shelf-stable products which pose no health risks if consumed well after the date.

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