In fact, according to FSIS, food can still be donated after the “best if used by” date passes.
Although FSIS appears concerned about food waste due to product dating, it does not make suggestions about a more standardized approach for companies to establish the “best if used by” product date.
“Closed or coded” – Packing codes used by manufacturers to help track the product; they do not relate to product freshness or quality.
Commercially processed foods such as canned products and other packaged goods can be suitable for eating after the sell-by or best-by date if they have been handled and stored properly — though their quality may have diminished.
When foods are improperly handled or stored, bacteria can grow, causing the product to spoil quickly or be unsafe to eat — regardless of the expiration date on the package. Consumers rely on product dating to determine when to purchase or use a product.
These dates are required on infant formula and some baby foods.
There is no uniform or universally accepted system for food dating in the U. However, Washington law does require that foods that spoil within 30 days, including milk, cottage cheese, and eggs carry a pull date by which they are to be sold.
Here are some generally accepted deﬁnitions for food dates that may help you determine how long you want to store foods once you get them home.
The date on the product is not relevant if a food is mishandled, e.g., a refrigerated food has been kept at room temperature for extended time.
Generally, unless the food has been mishandled, a food need not be discarded until spoilage has occurred or there are other changes in wholesomeness.