Ask Health Experts

What does the sell-by date on a food product mean? How long after that date is the food still edible?

Though the “sell by” date indicates to retailers the last day a product should be sold, food scientist says that you don’t necessarily have to use it by then. Milk: should stay fresh for about five days after the sell-by date, for instance, but use it ASAP after you open it. Eggs have a really long shelf life. You can usually keep them in the coldest part of your fridge for three to five weeks after you buy them. The sell-by or expiration date might come and go, but they’re still safe to eat. Other food labels you run into include “Best if used by”, which indicates the last day the product probably will be at its peak flavor, and an expiration date. Pay attention to that last one: For most foods, it’s the final date on which the food should be consumed.

Find a good doctor

How do you pick a primary physician?

The days of going to your small-town doctor – one who took care of you from head to toe – are long gone. Here are some things to think about when hunting for a primary care physician.

Do you have particular health issues or need special expertise? Some specialists will also serve as primary doctors. If you are limited due to your managed-care network, use the participating-physician roster as a starting point. Do you prefer a certain hospital? Narrow the list to doctors who have admitting privileges there.

Ask your co-workers. Neighbors, family, and friends whether they are happy with their medical care. Nurses and other health-care professionals are also excellent sources for referral. Check credentials and professional histories online at state-run physician-profile websites or check with the American Board of Medical Specialties at Skip online reviews unless they’re based on hundreds of patients. Don’t wait until you’re sick to look for a doctor. And keep this in mind: Shopping for a doctor should take at least as much time as shopping for a car!

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