Presently, the lack of uniformity among manufacturers and across state borders has made the practice of open dating confusing and misleading for consumers, retailers and the government.Checking the "best before" and "expiry date" labels on foods, from milk and cheese to bread and meats, is one of the first things consumers should do before throwing them in their grocery carts. A Health Canada advisory issued earlier this week informs consumers about what they should know before stocking their fridges and cupboards.
Some foods with a longer shelf life and that are critical to nutrition must carry expiry dates.Does opening a product affect the best-before or expiry date?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. 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."Open Dating" is a calendar date applied to a food product by the manufacturer or retailer.The calendar date provides consumers with information on the estimated period of time for which the product will be of best quality and to help the store determine how long to display the product for sale.