"Closed or coded dates" are a series of letters and/or numbers and typically appear on shelf-stable products such as cans and boxes of food. There are no uniform or universally accepted descriptions used on food labels for open dating in the United States.As a result, there are a wide variety of phrases used on labels to describe quality dates. One source of food waste arises from consumers or retailers throwing away wholesome food because of confusion about the meaning of dates displayed on the label.“Closed Dating” is a code that consists of a series of letters and/or numbers applied by manufacturers to identify the date and time of production.[Top of Page] Does Federal Law Require Food Product Dating?
Consumers must evaluate the quality of the product prior to its consumption to determine if the product shows signs of spoilage. Open dating is found on most foods including meat, poultry, egg and dairy products.Learn more about how Oath collects and uses data and how our partners collect and use data.Select ' OK' to allow Oath and our partners to use your data, or ' Manage options' to review our partners and your choices.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.
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.