The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires dating of food products to give consumers an indicator of freshness. Here are the types.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires dating of food products to give consumers an indicator of freshness. Here are the types:

PULL (or sell-by) DATE: The date unsold products must be removed from shelves.

FRESHNESS DATE: Usually on highly perishable products such as pastries, the date after which a product will no longer taste fresh.

PACK DATE: Usually in code, when a product was packaged, used by merchants and wholesalers.

EXPIRATION DATE: Usually on longer-lived products, indicates when the maker expects the product will no longer be usable.

Note that these dates are estimates and contain some leeway for home storage.

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