[Top of Page] Dating Infant Formula Federal regulations require a "Use-By" date on the product label of infant formula under inspection of the U. Formula must maintain an acceptable quality to pass through an ordinary bottle nipple.
The "Use-By" date is selected by the manufacturer, packer or distributor of the product on the basis of product analysis throughout its shelf life, tests, or other information.
Food spoilage can occur much faster if it is not stored or handled properly.
A change in the color of meat or poultry is not an indicator of spoilage (The Color of Meat and Poultry).
[Top of Page] Can Food be Donated After the Date Passes? The quality of perishable products may deteriorate after the date passes but the products should still be wholesome if not exhibiting signs of spoilage.
Food banks, other charitable organizations, and consumers should evaluate the quality of the product prior to its distribution and consumption to determine whether there are noticeable changes in wholesomeness (Food Donation Safety Tips). Consumption by this date ensures the formula contains not less than the quantity of each nutrient as described on the label.
It is also based on the conditions of handling, storage, preparation, and use printed on the label.
When spoilage bacteria have nutrients (food), moisture, time, and favorable temperatures, these conditions will allow the bacteria to grow rapidly and affect the quality of the food.“Closed Dating” is a code that consists of a series of letters and/or numbers applied by manufacturers to identify the date and time of production. Except for infant formula, product dating is not required by Federal regulations.For meat, poultry, and egg products under the jurisdiction of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), dates may be voluntarily applied provided they are labeled in a manner that is truthful and not misleading and in compliance with FSIS regulations.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.Microorganisms such as molds, yeasts, and bacteria can multiply and cause food to spoil.Viruses are not capable of growing in food and do not cause spoilage."Best if Used By" is a type of date you might find on a meat, poultry, or egg product label. Does it mean the product will be unsafe to use after that date?Here is some background information answering these and other questions about product dating. Two types of product dating may be shown on a product 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.