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   Friday, February 12, 2016Click the down arrow to the right to see a list of Smart Woman topics on air during the month of February.

Figuring Out Food Labels

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Harvard experts say that millions of pounds of food are wasted each year because people are confused over expiration dates. And 40 percent of the U.S. food supply is thrown away because of food dating. Figuring out when to keep and when to toss may be easier thn you think.

Use-by, sell-by, best-by … we all see these food and drink labels at the grocery store, but experts say, after these dates, chances are, it’s safe to eat.

Use-by and best-by tell consumers when to eat or drink an item for its best quality. Eating foods after a best-by date probably won’t make you sick, but the products quality will begin to decline.

Sell-by is for your local grocer. So don’t be scared of a marked down price — 1/3 of the product’s shelf life still remains after a sell-by date.

And, spoiler alert! Food doesn’t spoil as quickly as you think. Eggs are good for three to five weeks after an expired date and milk is good after one week — if stored properly. 

Boxed items can be eaten even if it expired last year. Experts say a change in quality can’t be detected even after years of expiration on some pantry foods, and foods like honey never expire.

If eating past an expiration date still scares you, experts say your nose will tell you if it’s gone bad, not your eyes.

Contributors to this news report include: Amber Sumpter, Writer; Cortni Spearman, Assistant Producer and Brent Sucher, Editor.

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