Do Food Expiration Dates Really Matter?
Experts provide a guide to the variety of confusing 'freshness' dates on food
By Star Lawrence
Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
You open the fridge, drag out the cottage cheese, check for fur, and if there isn't any, you say, "Honey? Will you sniff this?" This is not, however, the approved method of checking for freshness. The approved way lies in a voluntary system of labeling.
Yes, voluntary. The only items required by federal law to be labeled for expiration are infant formula and some baby foods; some states also mandate pulling dairy from store shelves on the expiration date.
Learn the Lingo of Expiration Dates
This brings us to terminology. The actual term "Expiration Date" refers to the last date a food should be eaten or used. Last means last -- proceed at your own risk.
Other, more commonly spotted terms are:
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions