I-Team: How safe is your food after the expiration date?


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s an issue that’s probably caused some disagreements at your house: Is that ground beef still good after it’s passed the expiration date? How about that carton of eggs?

The 22News I-Team wanted to know whether there’s a difference between the “sell by,” “best by,”  and “best if used by” dates, and how much it actually matters.

Lynne Mclandsborough is a food microbiology professor at UMass-Amherst. She told the 22News I-Team those dates have nothing to do with food safety. In fact, they’re not even set by or monitored by the government. 

“They’re set by the food manufacturer, and the food manufacturer is in the business of selling the food, so they want to make sure when they eat the food, it’s at best quality it can be so they buy them again.”

Lynne Mclandsborough

So how long can you keep food, past its expiration date?

We spoke to several experts to find out. What we discovered may surprise you, and even save you some money.  

Watch the 22News I-Team report on FOOD EXPIRATION DATES, Tuesday, June 25, on 22News at 6 p.m.

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