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Stocked and Rotatated

Thursday, November 12, 2009 |
My husband was teasing me, that about every time he starts to know where things are in the kitchen pantry they get moved to make room for more things. When I bring home a bunch of bags from the grocery store I usually have to figure out how the things are all going to fit. Its like
a little doing a weekly jigsaw puzzle or sorts. :) Besides making all items fit I try to make sure that I am rotating the items on my shelves. Since we are basically have our own little store in our cupboards it is important to me to make sure that I am using things before they go bad. This is pretty easy to do as long as I remember to put the new items in back so old gets used first.

I have wondered sometimes how important or exact expiration dates are on items.
I found an article I liked by Star Lawerence that was featured on WebMD. Here are a few clips I thought were interesting.

"Sell by" date. -The labeling "sell by" tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires. This is basically a guide for the retailer, so the store knows when to pull the item. This is not mandatory, so reach in back and get the freshest. The issue is quality of the item (freshness, taste, and consistency) rather than whether it is on the verge of spoiling.
"Best if used by (or before)" date.
This refers strictly to quality, not safety. This date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date. Sour cream, for instance, is already sour, but can have a zippier, fresh taste when freshly sour (if that's not an oxymoron!)"

"Guaranteed fresh" date. This usually refers to
bakery items. They will still be edible after the date, but will not be at peak freshness.

"Use by" date. This is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.

"Pack" date. You will find this one on canned or packaged goods, as a rule, but it's tricky. In fact,
it may be in code. It can be month-day-year-MMDDYY. Or the manufacturer could revert to the Julian calendar. January would then be 001-0031 and December 334-365.
Do you follow dates or do you use the "honey will you smell this?" method?
Leave a comment!


dnafamily said...

We do both, But usally we use the dates, and depending on how far past the date it is we usally still use it, but I have found if you wait too long past the date it dose tend to have a stale taste to it. I just try to make sure I rotate the items enough so that we don't go too far past the date printed on the items.

MamaX5 said...

Unfortunately, it's often the "honey will you smell this?" method. Mostly for meat and cans.

Ali Smith said...

I canNOT do the "honey will you smell this?" method, as my husband freaks out if something is at its expiration date or beyond. Therefore, I cannot let him know that it is, or he will refuse to eat it. It's as if he thinks there is some magical food fairy that comes around and on the exact date of expiration it's simply BAD. Cracks me up. As long as he doesn't know...he'll eat it and be none-the-wiser. :) However, I, myself, get a little iffy about certain things, like yogurt and any kind of canned fruit. Other things, I really don't care as long as it's not so bad it's going to make us sick! I'm not too picky.

Anonymous said...

I am crazy about the dates. I am always worried about the food being bad. Thanks for this post, now I think I will use things longer than their dates now. Also it was sun meeting you at Target tonight. Great website!

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