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Journal Staff. They might look like two ordinary ducks to most of us. But to birders, the courtship of this improbable pair on Sarnia Bay has been.

Is information on food longevity and safety available by phone? What are expiration dates? What do the terms closed dating and open dating mean? What should consumers know about food product dating? When Did You Buy It?

When Did You Open It? When to Throw Food Out? Not on the Use-By Date Who establishes these product dates? Who requires and regulates dating on foods? Are they Very Dirty or Very Clean?

How can you tell? Will the Rules Be Changed?

Pork and Other Perishables Sushi: Why Such a Short Shelf Life? Are some plastic wraps more effective than others? Can I refrigerate meat and poultry in its store wrapping? Can I use plastic freezer bags to store produce in the fridge? Can chemicals leach unto food from plastic wrap or containers? Do coated plastic bags really help produce last longer? Does aluminum foil give foods a metallic taste? Is it safe to use aluminum foil in a microwave oven? Should I wrap raw vegetables loosely or tightly before refrigerating? What are some advantages and disadvantages of aluminum foil?

What produce needs to be wrapped before refrigerating? Why does foil sometimes darken, discolor, and leave black specks on food? Will a foil cover help keep foods on the table hot or cold? FAQs on Reheating Food: Pizza, Chicken, and Everything Else Is it safe to reheat the same cooked leftovers more than once? Should Hot Food Go into the Fridge? FAQs on Mold What is mold? Does mold ever grow on nonperishable food?

What do the terms "closed dating" and "open dating" mean? | Shelf Life Advice

Can I remove a moldy part from food and eat the rest? About how many different kinds of molds are there?


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How can I avoid getting mold on my refrigerated food? Is mold always visible? 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. It is also based on the conditions of handling, storage, preparation, and use printed on the label.

Do not buy or use baby formula after its "Use- By" date. What Do Can Codes Mean? Packing codes are a type of closed dating which enable the tracking of product in interstate commerce.

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These codes also enable manufacturers to rotate their stock and locate their products in the event of a recall. The codes are not meant for the consumer to interpret as a "Best if Used By" date. Cans must exhibit a code or the date of canning. Cans may also display "open" or calendar dates. Usually these are "Best if Used By" dates for peak quality. Discard cans that are dented, rusted, or swollen. High-acid canned foods e. Whereas, low-acid canned foods e. Additional information on food canning and the handling of canned foods may be found at Shelf-Stable Food Safety.

What do the terms "closed dating" and "open dating" mean?

Some state egg laws do not allow the use of a "sell-by" date. Many eggs reach stores only a few days after the hen lays them. Egg cartons with the USDA grade shield on them must display the "pack date" the day that the eggs were washed, graded, and placed in the carton. This number is a three-digit code that represents the consecutive day of the year starting with January 1 as and ending with December 31 as When a "sell-by" date appears on a carton bearing the USDA grade shield, the code date may not exceed 30 days from the date of pack.

After purchasing eggs, it is recommended to refrigerate them in their original carton and place them in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the door due to loss of coolness from repeated opening of the door. They are not required by regulation but manufacturers print them on most product labels because scanners at supermarkets can "read" them quickly to record the price at checkout.


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UPC codes are also used by stores and manufacturers for inventory purposes and marketing information. When read by a computer, a UPC can reveal such specific information as the manufacturer's name, product name, size of product and price. The numbers are not used to identify recalled products. A Stock Keeping Unit SKU code is a number assigned to a product by a company or retailer for stock-keeping purposes and internal operations.


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A particular product may have different SKUs if sold by different companies or retailers. In an effort to reduce food waste, it is important that consumers understand that the dates applied to food are for quality and not for safety. Food products are safe to consume past the date on the label, and regardless of the date, consumers should evaluate the quality of the food product prior to its consumption.

Other examples of potential mishandling are meat and poultry products that have been defrosted improperly or handled by people who don't practice good sanitation. Make sure to follow the handling and preparation instructions on the label to ensure top quality and safety.

Additional information on safe food handling practices in the home can be found at Check Your Steps: They both do it, but mostly differently. Comedian ISMO on the complexities of the word 'tip'.

Comedian ISMO tries to figure out 'one' and 'two'. How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts. The awkward case of 'his or her'. Test your knowledge of words for lies, liars, and those being lied to. In other words, everyone. Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Build a city of skyscrapers—one synonym at a time. Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram. Definition of open dating. First Known Use of open dating , in the meaning defined above.