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Explanation of the various date codes on the food product labeling

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#1 Baskaran Gangadharan

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 03:56 AM

Hi, 

 

I have doubt regarding various date code on the food product labeling. 

 

- Use by date 

- Sell by date 

- Expiry date 

- Best Before. 

 

Why we need to have different terminology for the product safety or quality. 

 

Secondly, for instance, we have product which has expiry date on 14-10-15, is it safe to use till 14-10-15 ? If you have any statutory guidelines or article on the subject, will helpful to me. 

 

Regards,

Baskaran. G. 



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 04:57 AM

Hi, 

 

I have doubt regarding various date code on the food product labeling. 

 

- Use by date 

- Sell by date 

- Expiry date 

- Best Before. 

 

Why we need to have different terminology for the product safety or quality. 

 

Secondly, for instance, we have product which has expiry date on 14-10-15, is it safe to use till 14-10-15 ? If you have any statutory guidelines or article on the subject, will helpful to me. 

 

Regards,

Baskaran. G. 

Hi Baskaran,

 

Do you mean in India ?

 

Yr query is difficult to answer in general since many of these these terms have different regulatory meanings depending on location.

 

For example, here is USA's "flexible", mostly afaik non-mandatory, system -

 

http://www.fsis.usda...-product-dating


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 Baskaran Gangadharan

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 05:03 AM

Thanks Charles. 

 

Since, my query most interested to know fact with Indian regulation.  Having said I would interested to know even in other countries regulatory  guidelines on this front. 

 

Secondly, we have debate with our team member that: 

 

- Is it safe to use or consume product on 14-10-15 having expiry on 14-10-15. 

 

 

 

Regards,

Baskaran.G.



#4 Simon

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 09:59 AM

- Is it safe to use or consume product on 14-10-15 having expiry on 14-10-15.

 

I think it is safe to consume up until midnight of 14-10-15.

In other words it does not expire until the end of that day.

That's how I read it.


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#5 Baskaran Gangadharan

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 10:11 AM

Thanks Simon. 

 

I would be more oblige if you can share some of the reference article or guidelines for my internal reference. 

 

Regards,

Baskaran.G



#6 SUSHIL

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 04:37 PM

Hello Baskaran.G.,

    Date codes on food product labelling depends upon the type of products whether high risk,low risk and products with short or long shelf life.

                                  High risk products like infant foods and canned foods require expiry dates and products with short shelf life like say packages containing Bread,pizza.khoa, doughnuts ,uncanned fruits and vegetables require Use by dates as it depends whether you are storing these foods under refrigeration or at room temperatures.

Also products with long shelf life and stable products require recommended to be used before dates say like artificial sweeteners etc.

 

Best before dates are for products which are normally safe but have quality issues beyond best before dates say like chocolates,biscuits which may go rancid develop off flavors and off taste..

Expiry dates are not applicable to wines ,spirits, liquors etc as these product produce better flavors as they age.

 

.

 

 

 

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#7 Charles.C

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 10:18 AM

Hi Sushil,

 

Thanks for  the local input.

 

@Baskaran - For "Expiry" dates there is (from a safety POV)  often a legal (safety/non-safety) meaning or an implied (safety/NS) one. Or both. Or neither.

 

Even a legally precise meaning is unlikely to be exactly accurate from a health POV. For example i doubt that the health consequences from eating any product  (stamped 14-10-15) 1minute before midnight of  day 14 are unlikely to be significantly different to 1minute after midnight. Unless perhaps it was dropped at Midnight. Or it's Pumpkin.

 

ie  "expiry" dates usually have some (safety) leeway. But don't ask me how much. :smile:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#8 Baskaran Gangadharan

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 10:49 AM

Thanks Sushil and Charles for kind help and detailed explanation. 






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