Food Expiration Dates Explained

In a Ted-Ed lesson written by Carolyn Beans and directed by Anton Bogaty, narrator Alexandra Panzer addresses the confusion around food expiration dates and the sheer amount of wasted food caused by this confusion. She also provided some helpful hints in determining which, if any, food is safe to eat after its expiration.

Countries around the world waste huge amounts of food every year: roughly a fifth of food items in the US are tossed because consumers aren’t sure how to interpret expiration labels. But most groceries are still perfectly safe to eat past their expiration dates. If the dates on our food don’t tell us that something’s gone bad, what do they tell us?