Home Fork & Spoon February 2018 Keep Food Safe To Reduce Waste

Keep Food Safe To Reduce Waste

Many people waste food because of their concern about food safety when the date on the label has passed. Date labels on food are for nutritional or food quality, not food safety.

Most food does not expire. There are three types of date labels found on most foods in Canada:
  • Expiry date – limited to special diet foods including infant formula, meal replacements and nutritional supplements
  • Best before date – for food that may spoil within 90 days of being made
  • Optional date – for foods that keep their quality longer than 90 days (e.g. shelf-stable foods sold in cans, jars and bottles; dry goods such as crackers, rice and pasta)
The dates apply only to unopened foods. Refrigerated foods must be kept between 0°C and 4°C for safety. Shelf-stable foods often keep good quality and safety months to years past the best before date if stored properly.

Check pages 23-27 of the Safe Food Handling Manual for more information.

Safe Food Handling Resources Available

  • Safe Food Handling materials, including the program manual, posters and decals, are available at no charge for all Affiliate food banks and agencies. Click here for order form.
  • Sign up for the Safe Food Handling E-Learning Course. It’s free for volunteers and staff of affiliated food banks and agencies. Visit www.foodbankscanada.ca/elearning.