Ask Liz: Box Springs, Fall Leaves & Sell-By Dates

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By Liz Crenshaw and Katie Roberts
|  Friday, Oct 22, 2010  |  Updated 8:31 PM EDT
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Ask Liz: Box Springs, Fall Leaves & Sell-By Dates

Ask Liz: 10-31-08

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Do you have to replace your box spring when you buy a new mattress? The International Sleep Products Association says:

  • It’s a good idea to buy a new box spring with your new mattress.
  • A mattress is designed to work together with its foundation.
  • Also, NOT buying the box spring may affect the warranty on your mattress-However, this depends on the manufacturer.
  • The ISPA recommends evaluating your mattress for replacement every 5-7 years. If it seems less supportive or comfortable, it may be time to buy a new one.

Why do leaves on trees change color in the fall? We turned to the United States National Arboretum:

  • It says that in autumn, the production of chlorophyll slows and then stops. This is when autumn colors are revealed.
  • Chlorophyll normally masks the yellow and orange pigments and both then become visible when the green chlorophyll is gone.
  • Contrary to popular belief, frost does NOT enhance fall color. In fact, early frost can cause leaves to shrivel or turn brown, which stops bright pigments such as reds and purples from being produced.

How long can you keep a product after the "sell-by" date? The United States Department of Agriculture says:

  • The sell-by date tells the store how long to display a product for sale.
  • With the exception of infant formula and some baby food, dating labels such as "sell-by" dates are not required by law.
  • The USDA has created a chart for consumers to consult when storing products with "sell-by" dates or no dates at all.
  • For example, uncooked poultry stored in the refrigerator should be used within two days of purchase, but eggs in the fridge should last three to five weeks.

Got a question for "Ask Liz"? Send any consumer questions to askliz@nbcwashington.com.
 

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