Simple & Easy – Emergency Preparedness
Let us Help: Request a Call

Preparedness Tips: Date Labeling on Foods

Click now to get PREPARED!

Except for infant formula and some baby foods, product dating is not generally required by the federal government. Dating of some foods is required in over 20 states but there is no uniform accepted dating system in the U.S. There are some areas where almost none of the food is dated.
Types of Dates
A “Sell-By” date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
A “Best if Used By (or Before)” date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
A “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
“Closed or coded dates” are packing numbers for use by the manufacturer.
Safety After Expiration Date
Except for “use-by” dates, product dates don’t always refer to home storage and use after purchase. “Use-by” dates usually refer to best quality and are not safety dates. But even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality — if handled properly and kept at 40° F or below. See the accompanying refrigerator charts for storage times of dated products. If product has a “use-by” date, follow that date. If product has a “sell-by” date or no date, cook or freeze the product by the times on the chart.
Codes on Cans
Can codes are usually made up of letters and/or numbers. This lets the manufacture to track products in interstate commerce. They also use this code to rotate their stock, and to find their products in the case of a recall. These codes are not meant for the consumer.
Generally, high-acid canned foods such as tomatoes, grapefruit and pineapple can be stored 12 to 18 months. Low-acid canned foods such as meat, poultry, fish and most vegetables can keep 2 to 5 years. The cans need to be stored in a cool, clean, and dry place.
Egg Cartons“Sell by” or “expiration” dates are not required by the federal government, but may be required by your state. Many eggs reach the stores a few days after the hen lays them.

teoman (sxc.hu)
Egg cartons with the USDA grade on must give the “pack date”. This is the day that the eggs were washed, graded, and packed into the carton. The code date can not exceed 45 days from the packing date. The 3 digit code uses the “Julian Date”. It starts with January 1 as 001 and ending with December 31 as 365.
Always buy eggs before the “Sell-By” or “EXP” date. At home refrigerate the eggs in their original carton and put them in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Do not store them in the door. For best quality, use eggs within 3 to 5 weeks of the date you purchase them. The “sell-by” date will usually expire during that length of time, but the eggs are perfectly safe to use.

zeafonso (sxc.hu)
UPC or Bar Codes
Universal Product Codes are black lines over a series of numbers. They are not required by law but are printed so supermarket scanners can “read” the price at checkout. They are also used for inventory. Bar Codes are not used to identify recalled products.
Storage Tips
Product dates are not a guide for the food’s safety. Follow these tips to store food and still be able to keep it at top quality:
Purchase the product before the date expires.
If perishable, take the food home right away after buying and refrigerate it immediately. Freeze it if you can’t use it within the times recommended on chart.
Once a perishable product is frozen, it doesn’t matter if the date expires because foods kept frozen continuously are safe indefinitely.
Follow handling recommendations on product.
Consult the following storage chart.
Refrigerator Home Storage (at 40 °F or below) of Fresh or Uncooked Products

fritz018 (sxc.hu)�
If product has a “use-by” date, follow that date. If product has a “sell-by” date or no date, cook or freeze the product by the times on the chart below.
Storage of Fresh or Uncooked Products
ProductStorage Times After Purchase
Poultry1 or 2 days
Beef, Veal, Pork and Lamb3 to 5 days
Ground Meat and Ground Poultry1 or 2 days
Fresh Variety Meats (Liver, Tongue, Brain, Kidneys, Heart, Chitterlings)1 or 2 days
Cured Ham, Cook-Before-Eating5 to 7 days
Sausage from Pork, Beef or Turkey, Uncooked1 or 2 days
Eggs3 to 5 weeks

Refrigerator Home Storage (at 40 °F or below) of Processed Products Sealed at Plant
If product has a “use-by” date, follow that date. If product has a “sell-by” or no date, cook or freeze the product by the times on the chart below.
Storage of Processed Products Sealed at Plant
Processed ProductUnopened, After PurchaseAfter Opening
Cooked Poultry3 to 4 days3 to 4 days
Cooked Sausage3 to 4 days3 to 4 days
Sausage, Hard/Dry, shelf-stable6 weeks/pantry3 weeks
Corned Beef, uncooked, in pouch with pickling juices5 to 7 days3 to 4 days
Vacuum-packed Dinners, Commercial Brand with USDA seal2 weeks3 to 4 days
Bacon2 weeks7 days
Hot dogs2 weeks1 week
Luncheon meat2 weeks3 to 5 days
Ham, fully cooked7 daysslices, 3 days; whole, 7 days
Ham, canned, labeled “keep refrigerated”9 months3 to 4 days
Ham, canned, shelf stable2 years/pantry3 to 5 days
Canned Meat and Poultry, shelf stable2 to 5 years/pantry3 to 4 days

(Source: U.S. Gov’t/2-8-08)

Tags: codes on food cans, date labeling on food, date labeling on foods, food preservation, food shelf life, Food Storage, shelf life of cans, UPC or bar codes

Test

Need Preparedness & Food Storage Supplies?



The Bug Out Bag Book: How To Create A Personalized Emergency Gear Kit.

Some of the best resources in the world are available right here online. There are thousands of exceptional LDS & Family books, guides and other useful materials that help grow closer to that grow closer with your family and help you get prepared at the same time.

Here are a wide variety of exceptional guides that will not disappoint. Please let us know how you liked this guide! We hope you enjoy!

LDS Emergency Resources

Into All the World

Some of the best resources in the world are available right here online. There are thousands of exceptional LDS & Family books, guides and other useful materials that help grow closer to that grow closer with your family and help you get prepared at the same time.

Here are a wide variety of exceptional guides that will not disappoint. Please let us know how you liked this guide! We hope you enjoy!

The Step-by-Step Guide to Genealogy

The Step-by-Step Guide to Genealogy

(Amazing in Scope)

Main Courses

The Truth about Swine Flu

(Informative)

Ultimate Survival Skills Guide

Ultimate Survival Skills Guide

(Must Read)

The Ultimate Guide to Canning and Preserving

The Ultimate Guide to Canning and Preserving

(Excellent Resource)

Little Kids Crafts for All Seasons

Little Kids Crafts for All Seasons

(Perfect for FHE)

365 Kids Games for Any Situation

365 Kids Games for Any Situtaion

(Entertaining)





(Feedback)

> Try any of Our Products risk-free for 60 days


For exclusive offers, discounts, and useful information, please Subscribe to our Newsletter

We are committed to spreading awareness about the importance of emergency preparedness and family planning. We strive for excellence in helping families become fully prepared according the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Urban Survival:Survive Any Disaster Without Leaving Home.

For exclusive offers & discounts, subscribe to our newsletter now!

Leave a Reply