"Best before" food label

(NBC) - From picky kids, overstocked pantries, to leftovers that just sit in the fridge too long, the average American throws out nearly a pound of food every day, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

There are also misconceptions surrounding all those different expiration labels: "Sell by," "Best by," "Best before," "Enjoy by," and "Use by." What do they all mean?

With the exception of baby formula, there are no federal regulations on date labeling. Often the "Best if used by," "Sell by," and "Use by" designations are manufacturers' best guesses about how long their food will taste its freshest.

The manager of food safety research at Consumer Reports says the best way to know whether a perishable food has spoiled is to rely on your taste buds and sense of smell.

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