Code dating food
For meat, poultry, and egg products under the jurisdiction of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), dates may be voluntarily applied provided they are labeled in a manner that is truthful and not misleading and in compliance with FSIS regulations.
To comply, a calendar date must express both the month and day of the month.
These dates are not "use by" dates, but the time the container was actually filled.
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.
This allows them to easily track their product for purposes of stock rotation and in the event of a recall.
These packing codes are usually a series of letters and numbers that indicate dates, times, and sometimes places of manufacture.
Manufacturers provide dating to help consumers and retailers decide when food is of best quality.
Information about dates on pre-packaged food is a valuable source of information for consumers.
If you’re confused by these terms, you’re not alone. Take our quiz below, test your knowledge and learn what they really mean. Food with a “use by” date of today should be discarded tomorrow. Serving a product a few days past the date on the container is not illegal and, if the food has been handled properly, should be perfectly safe and still of excellent quality. "Use by" dates usually refer to the best quality and are not safety dates.