The 'Sell-By' Dating Game: Solving the Confusion Over Food Labels

By Food and Beverage FOXBusiness

'Sell-by' dates: When should you throw food out?

The Nutrition Twins Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames demystify the mystery of food labels.

When food is past the “sell-by” date on the label, should you throw it out immediately or is it still safe to eat? The Nutrition Twins Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames clear up the mystery.

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“As registered dieticians I want to say that we live by ‘if in doubt, throw it out.’ So that’s what we always say in terms of food safety, but based on the fact that the average American family is throwing away $1,500 worth of food a year that is perfectly good, we think that, you know, a lot of us are living in a lot of doubt when we want to just clear up the confusion,” Tammy Lakatos Shames told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.

According to Lyssie Lakatos, even though it creates confusion for many consumers, the “sell-by” date is actually meant to be a useful gauge for grocery stores.

“That just means it’s all about quality, it’s about when the store should take it off the shelf because it might not taste as good, it might not be as consistent, it might not be as fresh.”

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Tammy Lakatos Shames then gave some examples of how long you can continue to keep food once you bring it home.

“With eggs, it’s three to five weeks past the ‘sell-by’ date, milk is only a week past, but you can drink it a whole week past the ‘sell-by’ date.”

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On the other hand, according to Tammy Lakatos Shames, chicken and seafood have a much more limited window for when consumers should cook them, explaining, “you want to cook it or freeze it within about one to two days of buying it.”

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