Understanding food labels
Get to know your dates and your food packaging better to get the best out of what you buy….
Use by – Food can safely be eaten up to the end of the use by date if it’s been stored correctly. But don’t eat it after this date even if it looks and smells fine as it could risk your health.
Best before – These dates refer to quality rather than food safety. Food with a best before date should be safe to eat after the date but they may no longer be at their best. For example, bread might have gone stale but it’s still safe to eat. Providing they have been thoroughly cooked, eggs can be eaten a day or two after their best before date.
Display until/Sell by – You can ignore these dates as they’re aimed at shop staff not customers.
All food and drink – Check the packaging for information about storage and follow instructions such as 'use within two days of opening'. To extend the life of your food beyond its date, check if it can be frozen and then freeze it before the date. Make sure you fully defrost it and use it within 24 hours.