Dating in the federal government

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. Packing codes are a type of closed dating which enable the tracking of product in interstate commerce.

Microorganisms such as molds, yeasts, and bacteria can multiply and cause food to spoil.

Viruses are not capable of growing in food and do not cause spoilage.

[Top of Page] Dating Infant Formula Federal regulations require a "Use-By" date on the product label of infant formula under inspection of the U. Formula must maintain an acceptable quality to pass through an ordinary bottle nipple.

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Codes appear as a series of letters and/or numbers and refer to the date the product was canned. Usually these are "Best if Used By" dates for peak quality. Additional information on food canning and the handling of canned foods may be found at Shelf-Stable Food Safety.

There are two types of bacteria that can be found on food: pathogenic bacteria, which cause foodborne illness, and spoilage bacteria, which cause foods to deteriorate and develop unpleasant characteristics such as an undesirable taste or odor making the food not wholesome, but do not cause illness.

When spoilage bacteria have nutrients (food), moisture, time, and favorable temperatures, these conditions will allow the bacteria to grow rapidly and affect the quality of the food.

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.

[Top of Page] Safety After Date Passes With an exception of infant formula (described below), if the date passes during home storage, a product should still be safe and wholesome if handled properly until the time spoilage is evident (Chill Refrigerate Promptly).

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