The problem You reach for the chicken in the fridge, but the use-by date was two days ago. You don't want to waste it and it looks and smells OK, so surely it is safe to cook. Or is it?
There are more than one million cases of food poisoning each year in the UK and 20,000 hospitalisations. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) warned last week that more of us are risking food poisoning by eating food that is past its use-by date. It also said it was OK to eat food after its "best before" date. So what is the difference and how can you know if tonight's supper is going to bite back later?
The solution Use-by dates are applied to foods that may make you ill because harmful bacteria can multiply in them. They are used for perishables, including meat, fish and dairy products. Other foods, such as biscuits or pasta, may have best-before dates: these indicate a reduction in quality over time, not how safe the food is. Display-until or sell-by dates are an indication for shop staff to rotate products on the shelves.
Please read full article at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jun/17/use-by-dates-on-food