Expiration Dates...what do they really mean?
As a new baker I have a question for you all. As we know, lots of ingredients have "Best if used by dates" on them. Everything from meat, to eggs, to peanut butter, to syrup. Anyway, I've been looking online to figure out how long these ingredients will really last. For example, a source I found said you can store butter for 1-3 months.
Question is, when does the 1-3 months start? Is it acceptable to use butter 1-3 months after the date stamped onto the package? Or is it 1-3 months from the day the factory packed it up and shipped it out? 1-3 months from the day I purchased it? Or is it from when I opened it? Or maybe the manufacturer is really smart and saving me the time and stamped the 1-3 month date already on the package in relation to the products creation date!?
This is a little confusing for me. Realistically I would take each ingredient and determine by taste, smell, and texture if it was acceptable to use. However, I would like to make sense of this information I found.