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Related to sell-by date: shelf life
sell-by datePublic health
The date labelled on most foods in developed countries, especially dairy products, which is usually about 2 weeks from the day the milk was pasteurised, and about 1 week before it expires. An estimated 8 million tonnes of food are needlessly thrown away a year in the UK because of too-strict an adherence to sell-by dates, prompting government food bodies to switch to the phrase “best before” as a way of encouraging people to eat food that might otherwise be prematurely thrown away.
A popular term applied a tedious person, stale witticism, or other thing which has past his, her or its prime, as in ‘that joke is way past its sell-by date”.