Product code dating
In this testing, the companies use the conditions of handling, storage, preparation, and use printed on the label or commonly applied.
The date on the product is not relevant if a food is mishandled, e.g., a refrigerated food has been kept at room temperature for extended time.
Although FSIS appears concerned about food waste due to product dating, it does not make suggestions about a more standardized approach for companies to establish the “best if used by” product date.
Comments on this updated guidance may be submitted for 60 days after publication, i.e., until February 13, 2017.
In the context of food waste, the practice of product dating comes up frequently.
Why do companies include a “best by,” “sell by,” “best if used by,” “expiration date” or other similar date on their foods and is there a difference between these terms?
There is no book or web site that tells how to translate the codes into dates.
Food safety is not an issue in products kept on the shelf in moderate temperatures (75 F or less) and in a cool, dry place and the cans are not dented and in good condition.
Once a perishable product is frozen at the proper temperature, it does not matter if the date expires because food kept froze continuously is safe indefinitely.
This enables manufacturers to rotate their stock as well as to locate their products in the event of a recall.
These codes, which appear as a series of letters and/or numbers, might refer to the date or time of manufacture.
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