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- Food Law -

What do the different forms of date-marking mean?

In Australia, date-marking may take a number of forms:

  • Date of packaging or baking
  • Best-before date
  • Use-by date

Many other countries use a similar system.

The 'date of packaging' or baking is of limited usefulness, as the condition or quality of the food that is purchased will depend not so much on the date of packaging but on the freshness or quality of the ingredients from which it was prepared, as well as the conditions under which it was kept.

The best-before and use-by dates indicate the period of time that a food can be expected to retain its initial eating qualities without appreciable deterioration, provided that storage instructions on the label are followed. Food can be expected to have good to fair quality for some time past this date, and there is a safety margin to ensure that the food has not deteriorated to a state where it is unsafe to eat.

The expected life of various foods is listed
in Figures 33, 34, 35, 36 and 37.

See also:

Labelling and the law

Ingredient labelling

Nutrition labelling

Date-marking of food

Food Facts
- Food Law
- Labelling and the law
- Ingredent labelling
- Nutrition labelling
- Date-marking of food
What do the different forms of date-marking mean?
- Special purpose foods
22: Infomation on a food label
23: Low-joule foods (low energy)
24: Carbohydrate- modified foods
25: Foods containing no added sugar