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    Donations And ‘Best Before’ and ‘Use By’ Dates

    Food has labels such as ‘use-by’ and ‘best-before’ dates to tell us about the shelf-life of the product.

    These date labels inform us about how long food can be kept before it becomes unsafe to eat or loses its quality. Each type of date has an important but different meaning.

    ‘Use-by’ labels indicate the date by which the food must be eaten. After this date, food may be unsafe to eat even if it looks fine. The food may have developed bacteria and be considered no longer fit for consumption.

    • After a ‘use-by’ date, food should not be eaten by anyone.
    • ‘Best-before’ labels indicate when the food is at its optimum.

    Foods are still safe to eat after a ‘Best Before’ date as long as they are not damaged, deteriorated or perished. You can expect these foods to retain their colour, taste, texture and flavour as long as they are stored correctly.

    Food which has passed its ‘best before’ date can still be donated to charity provided it is not damaged, deteriorated or perished.

    For more information regarding ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates please visit the NSW Food Authority and the Food Standards Australia websites.