Janice Revell and her mother Jeanie are the founders of StillTasty.com. The site is a database for food shelf life. They also help explain what expiration dates on food actually mean. For example, the "use-by' or "best if used by" date is information voluntarily supplied by the manufacturer. The date is not an indicator of safety but instead quality.
Janice recommends using the sell-by date as a guide. Don't buy a product after the sell-by date. If stored properly, the item can be used beyond that date. Milk, for example, can be used for about a week after the sell-by date.
Music Break: The Big Twist by Plas Johnson