“Closed Dating” is a code that consists of a series of letters and/or numbers applied by manufacturers to identify the date and time of production. Except for infant formula, product dating is not required by Federal regulations.
For meat, poultry, and egg products under the jurisdiction of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), dates may be voluntarily applied provided they are labeled in a manner that is truthful and not misleading and in compliance with FSIS regulations.
Additionally, immediately adjacent to the date must be a phrase explaining the meaning of that date such as "Best if Used By." [Top of Page] Are Dates for Food Safety or Quality?
Manufacturers provide dating to help consumers and retailers decide when food is of best quality.
Except for infant formula, dates are not an indicator of the product’s safety and are not required by Federal law.
[Top of Page] How do Manufacturers Determine Quality Dates?
"Closed or coded dates" are a series of letters and/or numbers and typically appear on shelf-stable products such as cans and boxes of food. There are no uniform or universally accepted descriptions used on food labels for open dating in the United States.
As a result, there are a wide variety of phrases used on labels to describe quality dates. One source of food waste arises from consumers or retailers throwing away wholesome food because of confusion about the meaning of dates displayed on the label.
These products will typically maintain product quality for a longer period of time because of how the products are formulated or packaged.
The quality of perishable products may deteriorate after the date passes, however, such products should still be safe if handled properly.
Consumers must evaluate the quality of the product prior to its consumption to determine if the product shows signs of spoilage. Open dating is found on most foods including meat, poultry, egg and dairy products.
Food spoilage can occur much faster if it is not stored or handled properly.
A change in the color of meat or poultry is not an indicator of spoilage (The Color of Meat and Poultry). We customized and extended it to create a supported, monetization-optimized dating site business instrument.