You can find both following important dates on many products, but they are extremely different.
The best-before date (“Mindesthaltbarkeit / MHD” in German) is a date that comes with a recommended storage temperature. It can usually be found on processed food, such as cookies and yogurt. The producer guarantees that the product’s quality and microbiological state will be maintained until at least the date mentioned if the indicated storage temperature is ensured. Therefore, the storage temperature must be maintained. After the best-before date, the producer does not guarantee the product’s edibility anymore, so the consumer gets the responsibility to decide if they still want to consume the product or not.
The expiry date (“Verbrauchsdatum” in German) is a date that also comes with a recommended storage temperature. It can be found on highly perishable food, such as meat. It is a deadline after which the microbiological state will very likely evolve so fast that it becomes dangerous to health. Food whose expiry date has passed should be neither passed on nor consumed.