Spring Cleaning for your Kitchen
The arrival of Spring brings warmer weather, blooming flowers, and pastel colors! Aside from enjoying the beautiful weather that Spring brings, most people take this time to do some Spring Cleaning- a deep clean our homes. This typically includes closets, bathrooms, bedrooms, offices, etc. Sometimes we forget to do the same in the kitchen. The pantry, refrigerator and freezer are three places that could use a good cleaning out this Spring as well.
Once you get in the kitchen, you may start wondering what to throw out and what to keep. It helps to have a good understanding of what exactly the dates on foods indicate (it’s not always what we think!).
“Sell by date”: tells the store how long to display the products for sale. The consumer should purchase the product before the date expires.
“Best if used by date”: this date indicates when to use the product by for the best flavor or quality. This is not a purchase by or safety date.
“Use-by” date: this is the date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality and is determined by the manufacturer of the product.
**Use by date is the only date on food packages that pertains to home storage and use after purchase. Even these dates strictly indicate quality, not safety of the food. **
How do you know if food has spoiled and is unsafe to consume?
Foods that have spoiled from bacteria growth will have an off flavor or odor. If your food does not taste or smell like it should, you should not consume it is. This is your best indicator if a food is safe to eat.