Open shelf life dating of food

Information about dates on pre-packaged food is a valuable source of information for consumers.

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Most bakery and pharmacy related food items are "sell by" or "best by" dated, which is easy for you and I to understand.

Some refrigerated and canned manufactures use this form of dating.

There are different kinds of date markings, depending on the product.

The most common terms are "best-before" dates, "packaged on" dates, and expiration dates.

Shelf life is an important property of food and should be of interest to everyone, from the producer of the food to the consumer (you).

This article will provide an in-depth explanation of the shelf-lives of various common food products, as well as explaining exactly what shelf life means.

There is no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating in the United States.

Although dating of some foods is required by more than 20 states, there are areas of the country where much of the food supply has some type of open date and other areas where almost no food is dated. The FDA only has guidelines on labeling a product and the required information.

Learn how long foods stay fresh in the pantry, and you'll know just how much to stock up on, and when it's time to replace key ingredients like baking powder and spices.

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