Terry's husband bought some packaged Persian cucumbers in a large grocery store Sunday, but when Terry opened them Tuesday, they were totally rotten to the point of decomposition. She looked for the sell-by date on the package, but there was none. At another smaller store, Elle overheard a woman complaining to a manager that the hummus she had just bought was moldy. Again, there was no sell-by date. These recent incidents piqued our interest in a subject that seems murky at best.
Federal law does not require stores to post sell-by dates except for infant formula and some baby food, although more than 20 states have some requirements for milk and dairy, California included. There are four specific designations to look for:
1. Pack date relates to canned or packaged foods and tells you when the product was processed. It does not tell you how long it will be good.