Dating food products
Any changes made to the best-before date or durable life information that result in false or misleading information on the label are prohibited by Section 5.(1) of the Food and Drugs Act.As it is not illegal to sell a product that is past its best-before date, a consumer can use this information to consider how the food may have changed in terms of its freshness, flavour, texture and/or nutritional value before purchasing. You should report a concern to the 's inspection and compliance principles.
A basic understanding of what terms are used can help you to better understand these labels.Examples include most canned foods, many dry foods such as pasta and foods that are sold in a frozen state.If manufacturers and retailers choose to provide customers with this information, they must follow the required manner of declaration (see the next section).The best-before date must be identified using the words "best before" and "" grouped together with the date, unless a clear explanation of the significance of the best-before date appears elsewhere on the label.Similarly, packaged-on dates must also be grouped together with the date, using the words "packaged on" and "".Foods with an anticipated shelf life greater than 90 days are not required to be labelled with a best-before date or storage information.
This is because these foods are generally considered to be shelf stable.
Durable life means the anticipated amount of time that an unopened food product, when stored under appropriate conditions, will retain its: ".
The best-before date indicates to consumers that if the product has been properly handled (stored under conditions appropriate to that product), the unopened product should be of high quality until the specified date. However, they do give you information about the freshness and potential shelf-life of the unopened foods you are buying.
You can buy and eat foods after the best-before date has passed. Storing your food properly is one of the key things you can do to protect yourself and your family from foodborne illness.
However, when this date has passed, the food may lose some of its freshness and flavour, or its texture may have changed. It is not illegal to sell a product if its best-before date has passed.
The durable life information can be expressed several ways, for example, the number of days a product will retain its freshness, or a best-before date.