Usda fact sheet on food product dating
How much to do you know about dates on egg cartons, UPC or bar codes, storage times? “Sell by Feb 14” is a type of information you might find on a meat or poultry product. Does it mean the product will be unsafe to use after that date?
Ever wonder what the difference is between “Best if used by,” “Use by,” and “Sell by”?
Here is what you need to know: The date stamped on a product’s package by the manufacturer is to help the store decide how long to display the product for sale and limit the time of sale during the product’s best quality. Product dating by the manufacturer is not specifically required by Federal regulations.
often receive requests for clarification of these dates and labeling requirements.
In the guidance FSIS explains that dating of food, be it the “best by,” “sell by,” “best if used by” date, is based on product analysis throughout storage, tests, or other information.
On December 14, 2016, the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA issued an updated guidance on food product dating.Since the growth continues even under refrigeration, you need to discard items after seven days after opening or the product’s use by date (whichever comes sooner).Many items are tossed into the freezer to keep for a later date.According to FSIS, the industry’s use of a variety of statements such as “Sell-by” and “Use-by” on product labels to describe quality dates is confusing to the consumer and, as a result of misunderstanding about food product dating, the consumer discards more food than necessary.
In its updated guidance, FSIS claims that research shows that a “Best if Used By” date is best understood by the consumer as a quality date.In the case of shelf-stable and frozen products, the year must also be displayed.