Features Health & Fitness

#DidYouKnow: The Difference Between Best Before & Expiry Date

Whenever you buy a packaged food item, it’s always advisable to note the date which the manufacturer/producer recommends it suitable for consumption.

On some food items, you might see an “Expiry Date” and on some others, you might see a “Best Before Date“. These dates are very important to note. But what we are discussing today is the difference. Do you really know the difference between these two dates?

I did some online search and came up with these definitions:

Best before date: Length of time which an item is suitable for sale. It is the recommended time which a product will remain good. This date is more of a guideline and it gives the recommended date by which the product is best consumed by. This is the date up to and including which the food can be expected to remain at peak quality if properly stored. Food may be edible after this date; however its quality may suffer, e.g. potato crisps might become soft.

Expiry date: Indicates that the product is no longer safe to consume after the specified date.

What’s the difference?

If food must not be consumed after a certain date for health and safety reasons, the ‘Expiration date’ mark must be used. Foods labeled ‘Expiration date’ cannot be sold after the date has expired. A ‘Best Before’ date would be used for shelf stable foods, dry goods such as biscuits and confectionery, frozen foods, most raw foods that will be cooked before being eaten (eg. meat, chicken, fish) or foods that will noticeably spoil before becoming a safety issue.

In some countries, food marked with a ‘Best Before’ date can still be sold after that date provided it is safe and suitable for consumption. Any storage conditions that are necessary to ensure that a food will retain its specific qualities for the period indicated by the date mark, must be declared on the label.

I hope this clarifies.

If you were to make a choice, would you prefer the use of ‘Expiry Date’ over ‘Best Before’ date to avoid any mistakes?

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  • Reply
    January 4, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Expiry date is better, using best before is a way of finding a safe haven

  • Reply
    Racheal Laye Edward
    January 4, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Yes,I will.
    Didn’t know this before.
    Thks for the info

  • Reply
    omishakin joshua
    January 4, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    waoh! what an enlightment… bravo, kudos.

  • Reply
    January 5, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Thank u. I’ll perfer “best before”

  • Reply
    favour michael chidiebere
    January 5, 2015 at 12:42 am

    I do understand now. thank a lot

  • Reply
    January 5, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Best before is more like it to keep one at alert.

  • Reply
    January 5, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Wow thnx for dis info, its enlightening keep it up!

  • Reply
    Em Dee
    January 5, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Superb write up. Very informative

  • Reply
    January 5, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Best before will b beta tnx fr d info.

  • Reply
    edwin uzobenyi jnr
    January 5, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Technically they mean the same thing but the difference is quite clear. thanks for the knowledge.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Thank you so much, my Role Model!

  • Reply
    Lambert aliginia
    January 6, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I think best before is quite ok
    considering the fact that It’s consumable.
    Thanks for the clarity.

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