Use-by date and best-before date: This is where the difference lies
The key difference between the best before date and the use by date is that one is a mandatory date that you must follow while the other is just a recommendation.
- If you don’t want to run the risk of getting food poisoning, you should always stick to the use-by date. You can find the use-by date mainly on packaged, perishable meat such as poultry and fish, as well as other highly perishable foods.
- You will discover the best before date (BBD) on most other foods. Basically, the best-before date only indicates the minimum date up to which the manufacturer guarantees the perfect taste, smell, and other appearances. You can often prepare the food yourself well beyond the specified best before the date without hesitation.
- Food such as pasta, sugar, or coffee can be stored almost indefinitely. On the other hand, foods such as dairy products or sausages can be enjoyed beyond the best-before date, but only for a limited time. You can usually tell from the smell or appearance whether you can still use the food.
- With milk, for example, you will notice from the sour smell or taste that it is no longer edible. Sausage, on the other hand, usually gets a greyish tinge and cooking oil smells rancid. You can quickly find out whether your eggs are still edible with a simple trick before you prepare the eggs.