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Best by, sell by, use by

Originally published by NPR on July 15,2022.

The dates stamped on our groceries have a lot of power. They convince us that our food is fresh and safe to be consumed. 

But for food dates there’s more myth than truth. Except for baby formula, there’s no central authority or federal regulation that enforces national standards for food date labeling. So a sell-by date that might force a gallon of milk off of the shelf in one state could be considered completely safe to consume in another for several more days. 

In this episode, we travel to a state with one of the strictest labeling requirements in America in search of the truth about how our food is labeled, and who gets to decide that food is no longer safe. And yes, it did involve drinking milk out of the trash. 

Listen to the podcast here.

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