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The quality of perishable products may deteriorate after the date passes; however, such products should still be safe if handled properly.
Consumers must evaluate the quality of the product prior to its consumption to determine if the product shows signs of spoilage. Open dating is found on most foods including meat, poultry, egg and dairy products.
"Best if Used By" is a type of date you might find on a meat, poultry, or egg product label. Does it mean the product will be unsafe to use after that date?
The calendar date provides consumers with information on the estimated period of time for which the product will be of best quality and to help the store determine how long to display the product for sale.
Additionally, immediately adjacent to the date must be a phrase explaining the meaning of that date such as "Best if Used By." [Top of Page] Are Dates for Food Safety or Food Quality?
Manufacturers provide dating to help consumers and retailers decide when food is of best quality.
It is also based on the conditions of handling, storage, preparation, and use printed on the label.
Do not buy or use baby formula after its "Use-By" date. Can codes are a type of closed dating which enable the tracking of product in interstate commerce.
With an exception of infant formula (described below), if the date passes during home storage, a product should still be safe and wholesome if handled properly until the time spoilage is evident (Chill Refrigerate Promptly).