Food poisoning

We've all driven the porcelain bus at some time. How can you avoid food poisoning?
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  • Updated:1 Jun 2005

07.Use-by dates

Most prepacked foods are labelled with a date of some kind.

  • Foods that have a use-by date should be eaten or frozen before the end of the date shown, for safety reasons. You shouldn’t eat them after this date and it’s illegal for shops to sell foods once a use-by date has passed.
  • Foods that have a best-before date are less perishable, and this date gives a guide to how long you can expect the food to keep its quality (not safety). It’s OK to eat (and sell) these foods after the date has passed. Use your common sense — while they’ll often be perfectly acceptable, they may sometimes not be as good-quality as they once were.
  • Bread can have a ‘baked on’ date or even a ‘baked for’ date, instead of a best-before date.
  • All dates only apply if the food has been properly stored and transported, so if the packaging looks damaged or otherwise suspect, give it a miss.

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