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Microorganisms such as molds, yeasts, and bacteria can multiply and cause food to spoil.Viruses are not capable of growing in food and do not cause spoilage.Manufacturers and retailers will consider these factors when determining the date for which the product will be of best quality.For example, sausage formulated with certain ingredients used to preserve the quality of the product or fresh beef packaged in a modified atmosphere packaging system that helps ensure that the product will stay fresh for as long as possible.Until the ACFR grants it official status, the XML rendition of the daily Federal Register on Federal does not provide legal notice to the public or judicial notice to the courts.
"Closed or coded dates" are a series of letters and/or numbers and typically appear on shelf-stable products such as cans and boxes of food. There are no uniform or universally accepted descriptions used on food labels for open dating in the United States.As a result, there are a wide variety of phrases used on labels to describe quality dates. One source of food waste arises from consumers or retailers throwing away wholesome food because of confusion about the meaning of dates displayed on the label.To reduce consumer confusion and wasted food, FSIS recommends that food manufacturers and retailers that apply product dating use a “Best if Used By” date.[Top of Page] Are Foods Safe to Eat After the Date Passes?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).
For meat, poultry, and egg products under the jurisdiction of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), dates may be voluntarily applied provided they are labeled in a manner that is truthful and not misleading and in compliance with FSIS regulations.