Product dating

You will find calendar dates or “open dates” on perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products. A “closed date” or “coded date” may appear on boxes and canned foods.

Only manufacturers know the meaning of these dates. It should be noted that dates found on products are the food manufacturer’s recommendations regarding optimal quality of the product.

High-acid canned foods such as tomatoes and fruit will keep their best quality for 12 to 18 months.

Low-acid canned foods such as meats and vegetables will keep their quality for 2 to 5 years.

Manufacturers use these closed or coded dates to rotate stock and to track down the product in the event of a recall.

Purchase item on edu When out grocery shopping, you’ve more than likely noticed numbers stamped on product packages.

These numbers can cause confusion, and often deciphering them can be like solving a mystery.

Understanding the various formats the date may be written in, however, allows one to read the expiration date. If the formula is consumed by the "Use-By" date, it ensures the formula contains the nutrient quantity as listed on the label.

Opening and Closing Dates Opening dates are found on perishable foods such as eggs, dairy products and meats. Consumers are encouraged not to buy or use baby formula after its "Use- By" date, as stated by the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

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