Dating site restaurant industry

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. Open dating is found primarily on perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products.

“Closed” or “coded” dating might appear on shelf-stable products such as cans and boxes of food.

Here is some background information, which answers these and other questions about food product dating.

There’s a big difference between “product or code dating” from the manufacturer in an unopened package and “date marking” (as required by the 2013 FDA Food Code) in the restaurant once a perishable, ready-to-eat (RTE) food package is opened for use or prepared from scratch. “Open Dating” (use of a calendar date as opposed to a code) on a food product is a date stamped on a product’s package to help the store determine how long to display the product for sale. Except for infant formula and some baby food, product dating is not required by Federal regulations.

The ODA provides general information on common enquiries users have about dating services but will not deal directly with individual complaints which are properly the responsibility of member companies.

The ODA monitors enquiry and complaint levels and the issues complained about.

The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.

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If a calendar date is shown, immediately adjacent to the date must be a phrase explaining the meaning of that date such as “sell by” or “use before.” Believe it or not, there is no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating in the United States.

You can use the actual date consumed, sold, or discarded on the container, colored labels, dots, or other similar systems. If a food has developed those characteristics, it should be obvious in a restaurant setting, do not use it for quality reasons.

If foods are mishandled, foodborne bacteria can grow and cause foodborne illness — before or after the date on the package.

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