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Fancy That -- knowing the difference between best before and use by dates

Do you know the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates? 

Food labelling helps us to know whether food is at its best, but do you know the difference between the 'best before' and the 'use by' date?

  • It is important to follow ‘use by’ dates. The ‘use by’ date is found on perishable foods that could make us ill if we eat them after this date.
  • ‘Best before’ dates refer to quality, rather than food safety and eating food after this date is unlikely to be harmful. Eggs are the only exception, which have to be consumed before their ‘best before’ date. 

Though it can be hard to schedule our lives around these dates, many perishable foods can be frozen. You don’t need to freeze foods on the day of purchase; they can go into the freezer any point up to their expiry date.

For more tips on how to reduce your food waste look at our other food waste prevention pages.