Shelf life refers to the length of time food will last without spoiling. In the U.S., many food items are required to indicate an expiration date. A "Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. The product should be bought before this date. A "Best If Used By (or Before)" date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date. A "Use-By" date is the last date recommended for using the product for peak quality. The product manufacturer determines this date.