Recently, some of our parents have asked about “best by” dates stamped on the food that comes home in our JC-FFF weekend food bags. At JC-FFF we strive to provide quality food items. Per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), most shelf-stable foods are safe indefinitely. In fact, canned goods will last for years, as long as the can itself is in good condition (no rust, dents, or swelling). Packaged foods (cereal, pasta, cookies) will be safe past the ‘best by’ date, although they may eventually become stale or develop an off flavor. You’ll know when you open the package if the food has lost quality. Many dates on foods refer to quality, not safety.
You can visit usda.gov for more complete information and contact JCFFF or your child’s school counselor if you have questions or concerns.