This recent news headline shows just how important it is to label food and non-food items in your kitchen.
Any food that is not in its original packaging must be labeled.
If a TCS food is being served and the temperature is not being maintained, it needs to be labeled with the following: Cold foods must be sold or served within six hours.
If the TCS food is not used within seven days it must be discarded. Example: If a product was made on October 15, the use-by date would be October 21.
Remember to also label foods that are not being monitored for temperature control.
“Use by” is meant to be a safety designation for highly perishable foods such as fresh meats, poultry and fish.
It should be used to designate the time at which, if the product were to be used after that date, there could be safety concerns.
Which one of these two terms that a manufacturer will use depends upon the type of product that they are dating.
The term “Use By” should be placed on highly perishable food items and term “Best if Used By” should be placed on less perishable items.The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the two largest trade groups for the grocery industry, announced this week that they’ve adopted standardized, voluntary regulations to clear up what product date labels mean. The updated guidelines are an attempt to help with the food waste problem.As of now, guesses as to the number of existing printed date phrases on foods range between 10 and 20. More than 20 states require dating of certain foods, but other states do not require any food dating. Department of Agriculture (USDA), there is no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating in the United States.If an open date is shown on a product, both the month and day of the month (and year for shelf-stable and frozen products) must be displayed on the product packaging.