Food dating system
Other voluntary date marking systems may be useful to consumers.
These may appear on food products as long as they are not misleading and the label meets appropriate requirements.
Expiration dates are required only on certain foods that have strict compositional and nutritional specifications which might not be met after the expiration date.
Expiration dates must be used on the following products: After the expiration date, the food may not have the same nutrient content declared as on the label.
A basic understanding of what terms are used can help you to better understand these labels.
The best-before date may appear anywhere on the package.It is acceptable to declare a "freeze by" date in addition to, and that is the same as, the "best before" date in a clear statement indicating that the product can be frozen if not consumed by the "best before" date.Information about dates on pre-packaged food is a valuable source of information for consumers."Expiration date" means the date after which the manufacturer does not recommend that the product be consumed, and up to which it maintains its microbiological and physical stability and nutrient content declared on the label.Expiration dates are not required on all foods, but only on foods for special dietary use.
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Together, the "packaged on" date and durable life information tell consumers about the anticipated amount of time that an unopened food product will retain its quality and freshness.