Use By Vs Best Before: Know The Difference And Reduce Food Wastage At Home


Food wastage is a major concern across the globe and world leaders are taking several initiatives to reduce the phenomenon. But let us all agree that changes take time and it stands true for reducing global food waste. Meanwhile, what we all can try is to take small steps to avoid wasting food at home as much as possible. In this article, we will bring forth an easy and sustainable way that will help you make use of the food ingredients you have at home, as much as possible. Wonder how? It is my understanding the use by and best before labels on the food packet.

Why Is It Important To Understand Expiration Dates On Food Packages:

Let’s agree, we often ignore checking the labels on the packets of food ingredients we buy. And that is exactly where we go wrong. Understanding expiration dates helps you plan your meals better, store the food better, reduce food-borne illness, and minimize wastage. These dates help you understand when it remains in its best form and when it rots.

Also Read: 9 Hidden Truths Of Food Labels: What You Need To Know

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Use By Vs Best Before: Understanding The Difference:

What Do You Mean By “Use By”?

According to the European Food Information Council (EUFIC), use by date refers to the safety of the food. In other words, under proper storage and hygiene conditions, you can eat the food until its use-by date. But does that mean you need to throw away food past that date? The EUFIC states that you can the the food to extend the “shelf-life beyond the expiration of the use-by date”.

What Do You Mean By “Best Before”?

Best Before Date helps you understand the quality of the food. This means that you can easily eat a food post the best before the date. But in that case, the nutritional value, taste, and texture might change. The report also states that if the texture, smell, and packaging look intact, then the food will most likely be safe to use even past its best-before date.

Are Best Before And Expiry Dates the Same?

A report by the Canadian Institute Of Food Safety states that there’s a big difference between the expiry date and the best-before date. The expiry date is required on certain foods that have nutritional value. This means that if your food gets past that certain date, the nutritional value written on the packet decreases.

Also Read: Navigating Food Certifications To Understand Food Safety

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Now that you understand the difference well, we suggest that check the backside of packaged food every single time you think of buying.

About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.


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