Today on Stockpiling Saturday I wanted to talk about Food Freshness. We ALWAYS look at expiration dates on items we Stockpile! Manufacturer’s use whats called “Open Dating.” “Open Dating” is when a manufacturer uses a calender date to help store managers determine how long they should keep the food items for sale. With “Open Dating” there are four types of dating: sell by or pull date, best if used by, expiration and pack date.
Sell by dates or pull dates are pretty self explanatory. This is a date the item should be sold by. These items are usually still good after the date but the manufacturer wants the product pulled after that date. It is kind of like smelling the milk after the sell by date or expiration date, use good judgment.
Best if used by dates are much like sell by dates. This date means the product will be at its highest quality during this time and will probably taste better. As long as the product is properly stored and there are no signs of spoilage, the product is safe to use. Again, smell the milk! LOL!
Expiration Dates are the last date the food should be consumed! The only exception are eggs. Eggs are usually good thirty days from expiration. DO NOT buy eggs that are already expired. I have also found you need to buy the eggs with the latest expiration date. People tend to switch eggs around in cartons. The ones that have the older expiration dates probably have switched around eggs. As a rule for myself, if an egg is cracked I skip the carton completely!
Pack Dates is the date the product was packaged. If I am not sure about the shelf life of an item, I ask for someone who works in that department. I then can talk to someone who has experience with the items I am buying and stockpiling!
Stockpiling 101 Series: