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To comply, a calendar date must express both the month and day of the month.
In the case of shelf-stable and frozen products, the year must also be displayed.
To reduce consumer confusion and wasted food, FSIS recommends that food manufacturers and retailers that apply product dating use a "Best if Used By" date.
Research shows that this phrase conveys to consumers that the product will be of best quality if used by the calendar date shown.
"Best if Used By" is a type of date you might find on a meat, poultry, or egg product label. Does it mean the product will be unsafe to use after that date?
Here is some background information answering these and other questions about product dating. Two types of product dating may be shown on a product label.
These codes also enable manufacturers to rotate their stock and locate their products in the event of a recall. tomatoes and fruits) will keep their best quality for 12 to 18 months. meats and vegetables) will keep for two to five years.
Manufacturers provide dating to help consumers and retailers decide when food is of best quality.For example, sausage formulated with certain ingredients used to preserve the quality of the product or fresh beef packaged in a modified atmosphere packaging system that helps ensure that the product will stay fresh for as long as possible.These products will typically maintain product quality for a longer period of time because of how the products are formulated or packaged.Foods not exhibiting signs of spoilage should be wholesome and may be sold, purchased, donated and consumed beyond the labeled "Best if Used By" date.[Top of Page] Safety After 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).