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When we talk about having a well organised household, we don’t only mean stock-keeping, but also a good system of food preparation.

The focus should always be on using food in a timely fashion and keeping an eye on the shelf life of your supplies. The best before date on food packaging is very helpful in this regard. It is preceded by the text “Best before” or sometimes “BBE" (for “best before end”).

 

The specifications for the best before date are predefined but at the manufacturer’s discretion. However, this does not mean that food which has passed its best before date has necessarily gone off. Check the food carefully (for mould, a change in smell, colour, consistency or taste) and, if you are happy with it, it can still be used even after its best before date.

You should also bear in mind that the best before date always applies to unopened food; so once the packaging has been opened, the contents should always be consumed quickly. It is advisable to use a clip, adhesive tape or an elastic band to keep the packaging closed during this time. However, the very best thing would be to put open food into a sealed storage container. You can also prevent your supplies from spoiling and having to be thrown out by checking them regularly. See “Mould & co.” for more information.

Food can still be enjoyed and even sold after it has passed its best before date. The BBE is not an expiry date as such, it is more the date before which an item of food is guaranteed to maintain its specific characteristics, if stored correctly. However, once the BBE has been passed, you must expect a certain loss of aroma or change in consistency.