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These foods include meal replacements, nutritional supplements, infant formulas and formulated liquid diets, which should not be consumed after the date on the label has passed, Mattison says from Ottawa."That's absolutely critical for those products because they may be all the food people are ingesting."Here are some other answers to common questions about the freshness of food products:1.
Does opening a product affect the best-before or expiry date?
In the case of shelf-stable and open dating products, the year must also be displayed.
A change in the color of meat or poultry is not an indicator of spoilage The Color of Meat and Poultry.
What's the significance of an expiry date on food?
The expiration date is the date up to which the food maintains its microbiological and physical stability, and the nutrient content declared on the label.
According to the USDA, "canned foods are safe indefinitely as long as they are not exposed to freezing temperatures, or temperatures above 90 °F (32.2° C)". In most food stores, waste is minimized by using stock rotation, which involves moving products with the earliest sell by date from the warehouse to the sales area, and then to the front of the shelf, so that most shoppers will pick them up first and thus they are likely to be sold before the end of their shelf life.
Are you paying for scallops and getting shark meat?
The concept of expiration date is related but legally distinct in some jurisdictions.
Shelf life is the recommended maximum time for which products or fresh (harvested) produce can be stored, during which the defined quality of a specified proportion of the goods remains acceptable under expected (or specified) conditions of distribution, storage and display. High-acid canned foods (tomatoes, fruits) will keep their best quality for 12 to 18 months; low-acid canned foods (meats, vegetables) for 2 to 5 years. A product that has passed its shelf life might still be safe, but quality is no longer guaranteed.
Some foods show a best-before date even if they are not required to do so, but these dates tell you about the freshness and shelf life of "unopened food," so once a product is opened, there's no guarantee it will have the same flavour, texture or nutritional value.
"Consumers need to know once they’ve opened a carton of yogurt, and taken that seal off, that best-before or expiry date is no longer in effect," says Watson.2.
Shelf life depends on the degradation mechanism of the specific product.