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Jan 30, 2012 11:04 AM

Can I use after the sell-by date?

Got a turkey breast in the fridge. Sell-by date was 3 days ago. Should I toss?

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  1. Don't toss it. It's a "sell by" date, meaning it is still safe to be sold on that date. Not an expiration date, or a ticking time bomb.

    As long as you've used common sense with it (i.e. not lest it in the car on an 80 degree day for 2 hours, etc), then use or freeze is today or tomorrow. :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: tzurriz

      I've heard this, and I like the common sense approach.

    2. I just opened the package, and the meat definitely smells OFF. I just checked Cook's Illustr. and they say that the important thing is to use poultry within a few days of purchase; sell-by or use-by dates don't make a difference in taste testing...

      1 Reply
      1. re: candypandora

        Your nose is a much better indicator of whether it's safe to eat than some arbitrary date printed on the package. If it smells off, toss it!

      2. I agree with tzurriz completely. If it was a pre-cooked turkey breast, you could keep it even longer.

        1. I certainly wouldn't toss it...if it has been kept cold, it's still good beyond the "sell by" date.
          You do want to use it as soon as you can...but as tzurriz stated, it's not a time bomb and doesn't undergo some kind of magical transformation on that printed date.

          Chuck it if you feel nervous about it...but frankly, you'd probably be wasting a perfectly good piece of meat.

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