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Joy of Harvest

The Hudson Valley Food Waste Challenge

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Welcome to Week Three
Organizing & Storing Food


October 4 - October 10


Should you require assistance please email janet@HudsonValleyEATS or call 845-598-4760 Monday - Saturday between 9:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m.

Monday - October 4th

Let's Talk Expirations Dates

If you are confused about expirations dates, you are not alone. The question is, are you throwing out perfectly good food just because you are worried that it might make you sick?  Today, is about helping you demystify food labels.

Believe it or not, some dates on perishable foods aren’t about food safety.  Instead, they are to let you and retail stores how long a product can be expected to have the best quality and texture.  Some states require food labels but they are not required by federal law, and except when it comes to baby formula. Therefore food label might not not necessarily indicate the safety of a product. The truth is many perishable products are perfectly safe to consume after the dates on their label if they have been stored and handled properly.

Let's start with what food date labels mean.

  • "Best if Used By/Before" date indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.

  • "Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale for inventory management. It is not a safety date.

  • “Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. It is not a safety date except for when used on infant formula as described below.

  • “Freeze-By” date indicates when a product should be frozen to maintain peak quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.

Is Food Still Good?


Are you wondering if a food is still good?  Below is list of foods and general guidelines for freshness, but when in doubt, you can always check for the guaranteed signs that food might be spoiled, and those are:

  • It doesn't smell right

  • It is moldy (but sometimes, you can just cut the mold off)

  • The texture is different then you expect

  • It has an "off" taste

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