Best before and use-by, two totally different things

A best before date is basically a guarantee for freshness, it has very little to do with whether the food is safe to eat, but more to do with the quality of the food. After the Best Before date, your food will probably start to deteriorate in flavour or colour, soften or become brittle. But, it shouldn’t make you sick if you eat it after the given date. So then, how do we know if a product has completely turned? The good thing is that all food gives off clear signs if it’s going off. If there’s a strange smell or it’s leaking – throw it out. Your senses and your common-sense are your best guide!

Use by dates are a totally different story. They should be taken very seriously. It’s not a warning, it’s a direction. Eating food after their use by date will put your health at risk and you could get sick. If you’re not planning on eating these foods before the given date, freeze them. Here’s a few tips for food that we always seem to have expiring at home:


Eggs are a hard one. If you think your eggs have gone past their best before date but you’re not sure, try the float test. Place each egg one by one into a bowl of cold water. If it sinks to the bottom, it’s still good to eat. If it floats, it’s a bad egg and needs to be thrown away.  Quiches or Frittatas are great for using up a batch of eggs (and anything else in your fridge too!) Try our Salmon Potato Frittata.


It seems like our vegetables always insist on turning at the same time! When that happens, make a roast vegetable salad. Cut all your vegetables into chunks, drizzle with a little olive oil, season well and throw into the oven. You can also toss through any spinach that may be starting to wilt. Try our Roast Vegetable Salad with Sour Cream and Red Onion Dressing

Canned Tomatoes:

Canned tomatoes are a great staple to have in the cupboard and you can eat them well past their best before date, but when you have one too many in the cupboard here’s a great way to freshen them up. Watch here to make your own homemade pizza sauce. You’ll have a delicious sauce the whole family will love. Try using it to make our Pizza Margherita.

NB: As a pre-caution always follow the storage instructions on the package. Please take extra care if you are pregnant, sick or elderly, or if feeding the food to a young child.