Product Dating FAQ
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Understanding Dates on Food Labels
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Closed date codes are packing numbers for manufacturer use only. Like open dating, they are not intended to provide information about the safety of the product.
Friend us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Suscribe via RSS. Closed dating is a required packing code for tracking products in interstate commerce and locating products that have been recalled. These codes found on canned goods might refer to the date of manufacture, but they are not meant to tell the customer how long the product can be used. How can I avoid getting sick from a bacterial illness? How dangerous is a staph infection?
Can I assume that if food smells bad its unsafe to eat and if it smells ok that it is safe to eat? How dangerous is botulism? How dangerous is listeria? How many types of bacteria are there? What foods are likely to be contaminated by listeria? What foods can give a person a staph infection? What foods can give a person botulism?
Dating food products. A Lesson in Food Product Dating
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What do box and can codes mean? A can must have a packing code to track the product. Manufacturers use these closed or coded dates to rotate stock and to.
Date code listings below One of the most frequently asked questions about canned food is its shelf life and “use-by” dates. The codes that are stamped on canned food are manufacturers’ codes that usually designate the date the product was packaged. The codes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and usually include coding for time and place of canning.
Most manufacturers offer a toll-free number to call for questions about canned food expiration dates. For a sampling of how to read product codes, See Below. Remember, the code stamped on the can is when it was packaged. The general rule of thumb is that canned food has a shelf life of at least two years from the date of purchase.
Many canned products now have a “for best quality use by” date stamped on the top or bottom of the can. Canned food has a shelf life of at least two years from the date of processing.
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It can also help the purchaser to know the time limit to purchase or use the product at its best quality. It is not a safety date. Cans must exhibit a packing code to enable tracking of the product in interstate commerce. This enables manufacturers to rotate their stock as well as to locate their products in the event of a recall. There is no book or web site that tells how to translate the codes into dates.
Most canned food has a shelf life of at least two 2 years from the date of processing.
An expiration date is a date after which a consumable product such as food or medicine should not be used because it may be spoiled, damaged, or ineffective. The term expiration date also refers to the date that a drug patent expires. Expiration dates are especially important for medications because they offer the only indication about whether the product is still safe to use.
Food items, on the other hand, often look or smell bad when they have passed their “best-buy” dates. Certain medications can be fatal to children or pets if they ingest even the smallest amount; these should be flushed down the sink or toilet once they pass their expiration date. It is especially important to adhere to the expiration dates of pharmaceuticals. Because their chemical composition can change over time, expired medicines risk becoming less potent, less effective, and even harmful.
For example, an expired medication might not be able to control the underlying condition as well as a medication that has not reached its expiration date, so using it could have serious consequences. In some cases, the FDA may extend the expiration date of a drug if there is a shortage of it.
This column is a continuation of the first. Are foods safe to eat after the date passes? With an exception of infant formula described below , if the date passes during home storage, a product should still be safe and wholesome if handled properly until the time spoilage is evident chill refrigerate promptly.
Low-acid canned goods keep their quality longer than high-acid ones. Credit: AP. How do you decipher date codes on canned food and, if you manage to decipher them, how long after the date is it safe to eat the food? This question was a follow-up to my recent column on the difference between the “sell by” and “use by” dates that are found on packaged food. Both are examples of what the industry calls “open dating,” easily interpreted information found on such perishable products as meat, eggs and dairy.
In contrast, manufacturers of canned and boxed foods — which have much longer shelf lives — often use “closed dating” or “coded dating,” which must be deciphered to be understood. According to the Canned Food Alliance, “the codes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and usually include coding for time and place of canning. Most manufacturers offer a toll-free number to call for questions about canned food expiration dates.
They would have to; the codes are difficult to crack.
What do the terms “closed dating” and “open dating” mean?
Food packaging contains a wealth of information to help you decide which foods to choose to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are two types of dating that usually are displayed on a food product: “Open Dating” and “Closed Dating. Except for infant formulas, product dates are not expiration dates.
The USDA refers to these dates as closed dating and manufacturers use the dates to track products, assist with food rotation and locate.
July 27, – Author: Joyce McGarry. These numbers can cause confusion, and often deciphering them can be like solving a mystery. The consumer can easily read an open date. Only manufacturers know the meaning of these dates. They probably confuse consumers the most. Joyce McGarry mcgarryj msu. The dates are not necessarily guides for food safety.
Also in most cases, the product date is determined for a product remaining unopened and stored in a proper manner. Formula must retain an adequate quality to pass through the nipple of the bottle. It can separate and clog the nipple if stored for too long. The manufacturer selects this date. A can must have a packing code to track the product.