Best Before vs Expiry Date
There is a subtle difference between best before and expiry date though they appear to mean the same. Best Before and Expiry Date are two labels, which are used for the shelf life of a product, mostly a food product. Public buying different food products should look for the shelf life of that product as these indicate the time till which the product can be eaten safely. Checking the expiry date or the best before date is a must when buying food products. However, meanwhile, if you pay attention to the manufacturing date too you can choose a product that is freshly manufactured. That means the manufactured date should be a date closer to the date you are shopping. Expiry date and best before dates should always be in the future by the time you shop if you want to consume a good food product.
What does Best Before mean?
The best before date means the date which indicates the time till which the food will be at its best quality in terms of its taste and the nutrients it provides. The food may still be eaten after the date has passed, but degradation in the quality of this food will be seen after the specified date has passed. The foods mostly sold in the tinned or packed form usually bear this date. For example, in US, for eggs, best before date is maximum 45 days after the eggs are packed. The reason for having a best before date for eggs is that the eggs may contain salmonella (salmonella is a type of bacteria). The best before date usually appears on the label of a product. However, if it is not so, then clearly look at the label. Sometimes, you will see a text that say ‘best before see lid’ or ‘best before see bottom.’ If you follow the instructions, you will find the best before date on the lid or the bottom. Always, check and see.
What does Expiry Date mean?
Expiry date means the date till which the food or some product sold in peripheral package is completely safe to eat. Unlike Best Before date, the product is not completely safe to eat after the expiry date. Once the expiry date is reached, the food becomes unhealthy for eating and can result in health problems such as food poisoning, etc. It is advisable to avoid eating products which are nearing their expiry date and especially products that have reached the expiry date. However, a food item, which has reached its expiry date, does not always mean that the product is necessarily spoiled but it is advisable to avoid eating such product.
What is the difference between Best Before and Expiry Date?
• The best before date is the date which indicates the time till which the food will be at its best quality in terms of its taste and the nutrients it provides. Expiry date is the date till which the food or some product sold in peripheral package is completely safe to eat.
• A food that has passed best before date is still good to eat and not a health hazard. However, a food, which has passed expiry date, is not good to eat and can be a health hazard when eaten.
• The main difference between the Best Before and Expiry Date is the way the food reacts after the date has passed. The Expiry Date means that eating the product is not safe beyond the date that has been indicated. On the other hand, the products which have a Best Before date are based on quality. The product is at peak quality but loses the flavor it has after the date has passed. Quality of this food starts degrading afterwards.