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Manufacturers and retailers will consider these factors when determining the date for which the product will be of best quality.For example, sausage formulated with certain ingredients used to preserve the quality of the product or fresh beef packaged in a modified atmosphere packaging system that helps ensure that the product will stay fresh for as long as possible.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.[Top of Page] How do Manufacturers Determine Quality Dates?Factors including the length of time and the temperature at which a food is held during distribution and offered for sale, the characteristics of the food, and the type of packaging will affect how long a product will be of optimum quality.
Foods not exhibiting signs of spoilage should be wholesome and may be sold, purchased, donated and consumed beyond the labeled "Best if Used By" date.The documents posted on this site are XML renditions of published Federal Register documents.Each document posted on the site includes a link to the corresponding official PDF file on This site displays a prototype of a “Web 2.0” version of the daily Federal Register.It is not an official legal edition of the Federal Register, and does not replace the official print version or the official electronic version on GPO’s