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Whenever you take notice of the labels on food products, you probably notice two different dates.
The use by and best before. But have you ever taken the time to understand the differences between the two? Chances are that you haven’t. In this article, we’ll outline the key differences between the two so that you don’t run into mistakes.

Use By Date Labels

When talking about the use by date, it is referring to the safety standards of the food involved. Basically, they are meant to inform people on when to use the food by in order to prevent food poisoning. They are commonly found on perishable goods, such as dairy and meat products, and aren’t meant to be taken lightly.

Even if a product looks or smells fine after its use by date label, it should be never be ignored. The general rule of thumb is to throw away a product once the use by date is past. If you’re worried that you might not consume the product before its use by date, then it’s usually best to freeze it to prolong.

Best Before Date Labels

On the other hand, best before labels refer to the quality of the food involved. Unlike use by labels, you can eat the product after the date listed. However, just be aware that it probably won’t taste as good and won’t have its usual texture.

Best before dates mainly appear on non-perishable goods, such as bread, dry pasta and fruit. Just be wary that are differences in a products life after the best before dates. For example, canned foods can usually last for years whereas fruit and vegetables will only last for about a week.

In summary, use by dates refer to safety and best before dates refer to quality. Therefore, foods past use by dates need to be discarded and foods past best before dates don’t.

Efficient date marking with Monarch price/date guns

William Brandt Technology provide a range of pricing guns and date guns which allow you to print best before labels & use by labels on your food products.

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