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Cooking Basics

When you really should throw out food


Confused by food packaging date stamps? You're not alone. (iStock)

Still confused about how long your food will last? You’re not alone.

Food date stamps, such as “use by” and “sell by” dates, are not federally regulated and do not always indicate food's freshness. While some types of food should certainly be thrown out, like moldy fruit and curdled milk, a lot of it is probably just fine.  

To help clear up the confusion, Business Insider used data collected by StillTasty, a website that aggregates data from the USDA, the FDA, the CDC, and the food manufacturers, to create this infographic below.

If you're trying to cut down on food waste, it's worth taking a second look before you clean out your fridge this weekend.