Figure 6-4. Open dating.
d. Definition of Terms.
(1) Pull date/"Best when used by" date. The dating information is marked on
the product. It indicates how long a product will be at peak quality, according to the
estimate of the processor. This information is provided for the consumer. This date is the
last day that the product may be sold as fresh. When the pull date arrives, the product
does not have to be considered "bad" or "stale", as there is still reasonable shelf life in the
product. The manufacturer's code is usually marked "Best when used by (date)."
(2) Date of pack/pack date. This indicates the date the product was
processed or packaged for sale. It does not provide shelf life information.
(3) Expiration date. This indicates the last day that a product may be offered
for sale to the consumer.
(4) Shelf life. This is the normal time that a product can be offered for sale
and maintain a standard of wholesomeness, without deterioration of the product. The
dating information assumes that proper storage techniques were used in handling the
product. Note that veterinary food inspection personnel will normally accept the shelf life
of the product as stated by the manufacturer, unless proven otherwise.