Stretching Food Past Expiration Date

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- It turns out you can stretch that produce expiration date for longer than you think.

Everyone looks for grocery deals, but the best one may be in your fridge. With produce, sometimes all it takes is a quick fix to make the food usable

David Essay, the Assistant Produce Manager at Ideal Grocery Store recommends one way to save produce is,"If there's a slight spot on the produce, you can just cut it off."

Store Manager Ted Tyrell says that many of those dates on the food you buy are really there to help with quality control.

Tyrell said, "It's not necessarily a health issue as far as they go."

At Ideal Grocery, there are three possible labels and they all mean different things.

There's sell by, which Tyrell says is basically the date the grocery store should have it off the shelves.

The 'Use By date' is when it's recommended you use the product and the expiration date. But even when you see that, the manager at Ideal Grocer says you may be able to hold off just a little longer.

Really, it's up to the consumer to inspect their food and decide if it's worth saving.

One shopper, Cindy Farewell said, "I would use expired food, but I would really have to look at it."

For some, looking past the date and eating what could be still good is something they are hesitant about.

Layton Brooks says,"Perhaps there's some food you can eat past the expiration date and so it just depends on what it is."

Luckily, there are places in Lincoln that will take food that you may not want to.

The Center for People In Need off of 27th street as well as the Lincoln Food Bank on Doris Bair Circle both take food donations.