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Sell by and best before dates

Pre-packed food is marked with either ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ dates which have different meanings.

Use by dates

It is illegal to sell these foods after the ‘use by’ date. Foods that are likely to be a health risk after a short time must be labelled with a ‘use by date’. The food should remain fit for human consumption until that date, if it has been stored correctly. You can report issues with food being sold passed it’s use by date to Leicestershire County Council Trading Standards.

Best before dates

It is legal to sell foods after the ‘best before’ date unless the quality of the food has deteriorated. Best before dates are normally found on food with a longer shelf life and food unlikely to be a health risk w. The provider has decided that the product will be at its best until this date, if it is stored correctly.