Understanding Open Dating on Food Products
Open dating is a system used on food products that provides a calendar date for when the product is of best quality, or when it should be used or sold by. It is often found on perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Open dating is voluntary and is not a requirement for food products.
Open dating helps consumers to make informed choices when buying food products. It also helps retailers to rotate their stock, ensuring products are sold by the expiration date. This helps to reduce food waste, as products are not kept past their shelf life.
Types of Open Dating
Open dating comes in various formats and can be found on packages of food products. Here are some of the common types of open dating:
- Sell-By: This date tells the store how long to keep the product on the shelves. It is not necessarily a safety or quality date.
- Best if Used By/Best Before: This indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
- Use-By: This is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. It is not a safety date, but it is the date by which the product should be used.
How to Read Open Dating
Open dating usually consists of month, day, and year. The month is represented by three letters, such as Jan, Feb, Mar, etc. The day is represented by a two-digit number, such as 01, 02, 03, etc. And the year is represented by a two-digit number, such as 16 for 2016, 17 for 2017, etc.
Open dating is not an indicator of when the food will spoil. It is only an indicator of when the product will be of best quality. Even after the expiration date, food may still be safe to consume. It is always important to check the product for any signs of spoilage.
Open dating is a useful system for helping consumers to make informed decisions when buying food products. It also helps retailers to rotate their stock and reduce food waste. It is important to remember that open dating is only an indicator of when the product will be of best quality, not when it will spoil.
For more information on open dating, visit the following websites: