‘BEST-BEFORE’

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Understanding the difference between ‘use-by’ and ‘best-before’.


Best before dates indicate the length of time for which a food will be at its best quality. They appear on a wide range of foods including fresh, frozen, dried and tinned. Food that has passed its best-before date is not unsafe to eat, but it may lose some of its flavour, texture and quality.

Foods that have a shelf life of two years or longer, e.g. some canned foods, do not need to be labelled with a best before date. This is because it is difficult to give the consumer an accurate guide as to how long these foods will keep, as they may retain their quality for many years and are likely to be consumed well before they spoil. - ** read online