Food code dating expiration codes

Expiration dates can be hard to locate on a product and even more challenging to decipher.Currently, the United States does not have a regulated or standard system for coding expiration dates on food, except for those on baby food and infant formula.Canned foods are safe to consume indefinitely as long as they are not exposed to freezing temperatures or temperatures above 90ºF (32.2ºC).If food you have purchased develops an off odor, flavor or appearance due to spoilage- you should not use it for quality reasons. food left out for several hours at a picnic on a hot day), the product could potentially cause foodborne illness before the “Use-By” or “Best if Used By” date.

After the date passes, a food product may not be at its best quality, but it should still be safe if properly handled and stored at proper temperatures.

As they are not really intended for general public knowledge these codes are frequently unique to a particular processor and are not commonly published by them.

It is possible to get the keys to these codes by contacting the processor and asking how to decipher the dating code for specific product lines.

If you freeze a perishable item, it doesn’t matter what date is stamped on the product, because foods kept frozen are safe indefinitely.

Canned products include a packing code (a series of numbers and/or letters) that enables tracking of a product for interstate commerce. This type of dating allows manufacturers to rotate their stock and to locate products in the event of a recall.

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Nutrients in the food may become unstable after the use-by date has expired or a build-up of bacteria may occur. Foods that must be eaten before a certain time for health or safety reasons should be marked with a use-by date.

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