Open dating on food products

In the case of shelf-stable and frozen products, the year must also be displayed.

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?

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"Open Dating" is a calendar date applied to a food product by the manufacturer or retailer.Most bakery and pharmacy related food items are "sell by" or "best by" dated, which is easy for you and I to understand.Some refrigerated and canned manufactures use this form of dating.Package Food Dates: “Use By” or “Use Before” Some food manufacturers use “open dating,” or calendar dates stamped on a food product’s package, to help retailers determine how long to display a product for sale.If an open date is shown on a product, both the month and day of the month (and year for shelf-stable and frozen products) must be displayed on the product packaging.For example, a Julian date of 031 represents January 31st and a Julian date of 365 represents December 31st.​The Julian date usually represents the date the product was manufactured or packaged.Food expiration date coding is a nightmare for the consumer to interpret. This is different from an expiration date on all food products that the consumer can understand.Food products can be divided into two main categories - refrigerated and canned. Presently the lack of uniformity among manufacturers has made the practice of open dating confusing and misleading. Szybist Published 2001 Hardback 239 Pages Price: 103.00 [pounds sterling] (USA: Food & Nutrition Press) Open dating plays a vital role in the distribution of food products.