Food Labelling- Best Before & Use By Dates Explained - Part 2

Best Before Dates

'Best Before' date labelling is all about quality not safety. You’ll see these dates on a wide range of foods including tinned, frozen, fresh and dried. It is not unsafe to eat foods that have passed the best before however, the food may lose some of its freshness, taste, aroma or nutrients.

Can food be sold past its ‘Best Before’ date?

Food can sold or donated and eaten after it’s ‘Best Before’ date as long as it is still of satisfactory quality and the 'Best Before' date is still visible. Food and drink products that are close to or have already passed their ‘Best Before’ dates are usually given price reduction in order to boost sales.

By selling the food after its 'Best Before' date, the seller takes responsibility for the quality of the food, and therefore may commit an offence if the food is not of the quality the customer expects.

Remember, food producers and manufacturers have a legal obligation to include either a 'Best Before or 'Use-by' date on their food.

In my next blog I’ll talk about - How to label food in a commercial kitchen.

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