These dates are not "use by" dates, but the time the container was actually filled.As they are not really intended for general public knowledge these codes are frequently unique to a particular processor and are not commonly published by them.It is possible to get the keys to these codes by contacting the processor and asking how to decipher the dating code for specific product lines.Over time, readers have been doing this and the code keys below are the ones that have been sent to me.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.“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.In the case of shelf-stable and frozen products, the year must also be displayed.
Here are the facts: Except for "use by" dates, product dates don't always refer to home or restaurant storage and use after purchase.
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.
This allows them to easily track their product for purposes of stock rotation and in the event of a recall.
These packing codes are usually a series of letters and numbers that indicate dates, times, and sometimes places of manufacture.