Products we assume are fresh prior to the expiration date may be weeks, months, or years old. For example, the cottage cheese pictured below was purchased on 10 March 2014. The expiration date is 14 April 2014. It’s fresh now, and probably a month from now it will still be editable, but it most likely won’t taste as good on April 14 as it does today. When buying “day old” products, you may be purchasing something that’s been on the shelf for a long time.