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Health Tip: Know When to Toss Expired Food

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Healthy Eating related image Photo: Getty Images

The ground meat you bought for tacos that never happened is still in the refrigerator. You check the date on the package, and it’s already a day past its prime. What do you do? Should you throw it out, or is it still okay to cook and eat?

A Lifescript.com article demystified those expiration dates so you will be in the know from now on. In the article, it is explained that common sense should be a large indicator if a food is okay to still eat. If it has a foul smell, throw it out.

• If a package has a “sell by” date, it means that the manufacturer has placed the date so grocers know when to pull items from the store shelves.
• If a package has “best if used by” or a “use by” date, it means that food may not taste the way it should if eaten after the date has passed; it is not an indicator of food safety.
• If a package has “expires by” or an “expiration date," the product needs to be pitched once the date has passed.
• If a package has a “pack date," this shows when the product was packed; it doesn’t indicate food safety or food quality at all.

Do you have a question about diet and nutrition? Check out EmpowHER’s pages and the WomensHealth.gov website. Sign-up, post a question, share your story, connect with other women in our groups and community, and feel EmpowHERed!

Lifescript.com: Food Expiration Dates, Should You Eat That?
EmpowHER.com: Eating at Home and Cleaning the Refrigerator

Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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