At Sweet Candy + Gifts many of our products have “best by” or “sell by” dates stamped on them due to the delicate nature of their high quality ingredients. But a best by is just a suggestion about freshness.
When a product passes its date our policy is to pull the candy from the shelf and add it to our 50% off rack. This means that for at least three months after the best by date you can pick up some amazing bargains and try candy that might have piqued your curiosity.
What happens after three months? We donate the candy to a local food bank where it’s used to add something sweet to the meals of those in need.
In researching best by dates here are some compelling facts from Grandparents.com that might have you rethinking your pantry and purchases:
- 90 percent of Americans throw away food unnecessarily.
-Most households throw out between $275 and $400 worth of food every year.
-Most foods won’t make you sick because they were on the shelf too long.
-Test: open it, sniff it, and taste it. If all of those things seem right, then go ahead and eat it.
Grandparents.com interviewed Dana Gunders, staff scientist in the food and agricultural program of the Natural Resources Defense Council and provides these handy tips based on a Harvard Law study:
Know the definitions of labels:
· “Sell by”: When you see that date stamped on your food, it’s intended to help the store know when to remove it from the shelves, so that the manufacturer can measure how quickly their products leave the shelves. “When the product says ‘sell by,’ I want to say you can almost ignore that. It’s meant for the grocery store,” Gunders says. “It absolutely does not mean that the product is unsafe and nine out of 10 people are throwing product away based on that date.” The Harvard/NRDC report recommends that the date somehow be hidden from consumers because it doesn’t help us to eat fresher food.
· “Use by” and “Best by”: These dates are put on products by their manufacturers but surprisingly, they are not warnings about when the food will go “bad;” rather, they are a suggestion of when the food is at its peak quality. But Gunders says, “According to our experts, 80 percent of the dates you see on products are guesses” about when the food will taste best. “It’s just a suggestion for the product’s peak quality, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t good after that date. There is no legal guidance involved in coming up with this date,” she says. “If everyone understood that these dates are just guesses, everyone would be taking them with a much larger grain of salt,” she added.