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Sell by dates on food and drink may be imposed by flawed legislation but embraced with open arms by marketing departments as a means of increasing sales. What do members think think?
I can't help but think that the requirement to stipulate sell by and consume by dates for some produce has been welcomed with open arms by some food producers. I particularly think this is the case for items such as canned and bottled produce. I agree that quality may deteriorate (although I'm not totally convinced of that even) but remain to be convinced that consumer safety is compromised if the produce is consumed after the consume by date or significantly after the sell by date. I will concur that such dates do perform a useful function in the case of meat and dairy produce. Even for vegetables I query their necessity - it's quite easy to spot veg that are 'on the way out'. Do you automatically throw out produce immediately after its consume by date or do you use your judgement to asses whether you believe it is still fit to eat?
asked in foods, food production, food preservation

beeper_spryte answers:

ambient products (canned goods, tetra packed stuff) it's usually safe to ignore the sell-by and use your common sense (and nose) after opening them.

fresh stuff, again use your nose and don't rely on sell-by - some stuff goes off quicker then the sell-by, remember.

the sell-by etc are only guides, it's up to the consumer if they follow them or not. as for the seller, quick turnover is good, but buyers benefit from marked down stuff that's still perfectly ok to consume.

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goth-girl1 answers:

i never read the sell by date on anything could not even tell you where it is on the packaging

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kev_from_edinburgh answers:

there are sell by dates on bottles of water, totally pointless.

when i use milk for cooking i never check the date on it, i take a sip instead. there have been times the milk is 'out of date' and not just by 2 days , and it tasted fine, so i still use it.

as well as sell by dates encouraging people to throw out food that could still be consumed, there could be instances of food being slightly 'off' still being consumed cause its still 'in date'.

if you hate the taste of something your child wants for dinner, and its 'in date' you dont check it just to be sure, you just cook and serve, then when they say, "i dont want this, or im not hungry anymore"... are they just playing up? or does it taste 'off'.

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Theminxy1 answers:

The only sell-by-date anyone should need is common sense. If you were to run your larder by them you'd be forever throwing out good food...It would help if everything was realistically dated, but some of it is just pure nonsense.

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