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."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.
Research shows that this phrase conveys to consumers that the product will be of best quality if used by the calendar date shown.
Except for infant formula, dates are not an indicator of the product’s safety and are not required by Federal law.