What "Use By" Dates Should Mean to You.

Do "Use by" and "Sell by" dates on food mean you have to throw it away immediately?
Expiration dates on food usually mean you should throw it out, but a lot of times that food might still be good.

Its always important to check the expiration date on food products. But just because its says its expired, doesn't mean you can't use it for a few more days. 

Whether you're buying groceries or cleaning out the fridge its always a good idea to check the label.... 
But Eddie Owens with United Supermarkets, tells us that little printed date is all about freshness. 

"I think its extremely important that they pay attention to those dates and purchase their products accordingly... I think its really important to note though on the grocery side, its not really expiration date generally speaking so much as its a best by date," Owens said.  

So its not a surprise to us that most of the people we talked to say if its not bad... Why throw it away?

Now when food products go bad you can just throw them away, but with medications its a different. 

"You're not ever supposed to flush it or just throw it away in your regular garbage," says Melodi Barrett, the Pharmacy manager at United Supermarket on 98th and Quaker.  

Once a medication reaches its end you should not take anymore, but find away to dispose of it. 

"So once its expired you need to get rid of it as soon as possible... Usually you can talk to your doctor or there's actually clinics that they do where htey set up a time frame where you can take expired drugs. Its just better to always have in date products," Barrett says.  

But for  manufacturers and stores like United, watching that best by date is important for keeping the costumers happy. 

"A manufacturer certainly wants to protect the consumer in everything they do. So number one its food safety... We are absolutely totally committed to making that what you purchase is top quality," says Owens. 

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