Use By Dates

Contributed by Eddie Ezelle, MatSu Food Bank

Hello from the MatSu Food Bank, your local food bank!

We would like to talk about “Use by Dates” you find on pretty much every packaged food you buy.

The date on the can is a use by, or sell by date. It does not mean that the food goes bad the day after the date on the package. It means that it is freshest if the “Use By” is observed. 

In the case of stores, they have to sell it by the “Sell By” date to assure you are getting the best possible freshness for the money you are spending. 

It also assures the store is rotating their stock and not selling you older food and representing it as freshest.

We in the non-profit areas of food depend on this labeling to obtain food to give away. So if you are cleaning out your pantry, do not throw any food out because of a date. 

If it is obviously bad, leaking, punctured or otherwise visibly questionable, then yes, dispose of it. 

If you are still not sure, bring it to us. We have volunteers trained in inspecting the products for safety and consume ability. We also have animal farmers that can take the older products and if all else fails, we then dispose of it.

This also helps the landfills and animals which ultimately effects all of us.

So I would like to leave you with the idea to bring any food you wish to dispose of, contribute or just donate, to please bring it to us at the MatSu Food Bank, or your nearest pantry and we will be sure it is used and distributed for the best use.

And we thank you for monetary donations.