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FAQ

  • What's the difference between Best Before Date and Expiry Date? Are they still consumable and saleable?

"Best-before" date
 

A "best-before" date, also known as a durable life date, tells you when the durable life period of a prepackaged food ends.
 

Durable life means the anticipated amount of time that an unopened food product, when stored under appropriate conditions, will retain its:
 

  • freshness,

  • taste,

  • nutritional value, or

  • any other qualities claimed by the manufacturer.
     

This information is usually found on the label with the words "best before" and "meilleur avant".
 

The best-before date indicates to consumers that if the product has been properly handled (stored under conditions appropriate to that product), the unopened product should be of high quality until the specified date.
 

Best-before dates do not guarantee product safety. However, they do give you information about the freshness and potential shelf-life of the unopened foods you are buying.

It is important to note that a best-before date is not the same as an expiration date.

Expiration date
 

An expiration date is not the same as a best-before date. Expiration dates are required only on certain foods that have strict compositional and nutritional specifications which might not be met after the expiration date.

Expiration dates must be used on the following products:
 

  • formulated liquid diets (nutritionally complete diets for people using oral or tube feeding methods)

  • foods represented for use in a very low-energy diet (foods sold only by a pharmacist and only with a written order from a physician)

  • meal replacements (formulated food that, by itself, can replace one or more daily meals)

  • nutritional supplements (food sold or represented as a supplement to a diet that may be inadequate in energy and essential nutrients)

  • human milk substitutes (infant formula)


After the expiration date, the food may not have the same nutrient content declared as on the label.

Food should not be bought, sold or eaten if the expiration date has passed. It should be discarded.

Information has been obtained from Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

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