You ought to have the best understanding of food labeling to protect your family

We are paying much attention to the trend of fashion, which has nothing to do with your health; instead, you ought to look for labelling dates before consuming food products. It is responsibility to check the date and use of products before consuming them, at least once rethink yourself “Own security is with your hand”. When it comes to consumer products, particularly food and pharmaceuticals, words like “expiry date,” “use within,” and “use by” are crucial terms for ensuring safety, efficacy, and regulatory compliance. We just quick overlook the manufacture date, and a huge mistake is that we risk our health or face severe consequences. All products have a life cycle to maintain their optimal quality or safety for users, which can be measured in days, months, or years. Here’s a full explanation of the terminology and their significance as given below:

Label Expiry Date Reading

1. “Expiry Date” of Products

The expiry date is a signal that shows when a product is no longer considered effective or safe for use. The determination of the expiry date is done through stability testing, which indicates the end of the product’s shelf life under specific storage conditions.

Importance of Expiry Date mention in products: Using expired items can pose risks as they may no longer be effective. For instance, outdated medicines could be ineffective and cause negative reactions. The active components in products, especially medications, can break down over time, making them no longer useful. Active ingredients have the potential to deteriorate and turn into a safety concern.


2. “Use By Date” of Products

The “use by” date is the last advised date for using the product while it is at its optimal quality. After this date, the product may not be hazardous, but its quality may deteriorate.

Importance of “Use By Date” mention in products : Ensuring that the essence of the product is fully experienced by consumers, encompassing its intended flavour, consistency, and nutritional benefits. The consumption of perishable items like dairy or meat beyond this specified date could potentially heighten the chances of contracting a foodborne disease.


3. “Use Within Date” of products

The date labelled as “use within date” is frequently found alongside packaging guidelines that specify a certain period during which the item is recommended to be consumed after unsealing the package or container.

Importance of “Use Within Date” mention in products : Ensures that the product is consumed in its optimal condition after opening. Reduces the possibility of contamination once the product is exposed to the environment.


Understanding these phrases and their implications is critical for consumers seeking to utilize items safely and effectively. Global regulatory agencies have developed standards to regulate the use of these dates, ensuring that manufacturers provide clear and correct information about their products.

Difference between the “Best Before Date” and “Use By Dates”


Best Before Date

Use By Date


Indicates peak quality

Indicates safety

Applies to

Non-perishable and long shelf-life items

Perishable items


Safe to consume after the date if in good condition

Not safe to consume after the date

Risk of Consuming

Reduced quality, but generally safe

Potential health risks


Check appearance, smell, and taste

Strictly adhere to the date

Regulatory Compliance

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The FDA (USA) requires that all drug items have an expiration date determined by thorough stability testing (21 CFR 211.137). EMA (Europe); the EMA requires all medicinal product expiry dates to be determined and justified using stability data (Directive 2001/83/EC). The FSSAI (India) requires clear marking of the expiry date on food goods, either as “Expiry Date” or “Best Before,” in a legible style.

Exemptions include fresh food, and some alcoholic beverages and Labels must primarily be in English or Hindi, written in Devanagari script. Additional languages are permissible. Proper labelling assures consumer safety and adherence to the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations. “Use By Date” is required on perishable food goods, as mandated by the USDA for certain food kinds and by EU Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011.

“Use Within Date” terms help to preserve the integrity of consumer items and protect public health by prohibiting the use of dangerous or ineffective products. Good manufacturing procedures are recommended and frequently implemented in accordance with corporate policies and regulations. These criteria contribute to the integrity of consumer products and preserve public health by prohibiting the use of dangerous or ineffective products.

What are the benefits of understanding the “best before” and “use by date”, “Use Within Date”, and “Expiry Date of Product” labelling

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Understanding the meanings of “best before,” “use by,” “use within,” and “expiry” dates on product packaging provides significant advantages with minimal economic loss. It safeguards food safety by preventing the ingestion of perishable goods beyond their designated dates, thus averting potential health hazards.

Recognising the significance of date aids in curbing food waste by pinpointing items that remain consumable even after the specified date. It helps to understand the optimal quality and safety of products. This awareness elevates food handling practices, encourages healthier consumption habits, and fosters cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability through waste reduction.

How we can ensure your date of expiry

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Cultivator Phyto Lab Pvt. Ltd., based in Jodhpur, is a cutting-edge testing laboratory focusing on food, agriculture, cosmetic, and herbal product shelf life studies. They provide Accelerated Shelf-Life Testing, Real-Time Shelf-Life Testing, and Sensory Evaluation for Shelf-Life Testing while conforming to national and international regulatory standards.


Dr. Sanjoy Gupta (Ph.D)

Dr. Sanjoy Gupta (Ph.D)

Senior Officer- Training and Capacity Building

Dr. Sanjoy Gupta is a seasoned researcher with 13 years of experience across plant biotechnology, health science, nutrition, phytoplankton, and botanical studies. He has rich experience in research & development at reputed institutions like CSIR, IIP, BSI, NIOT, and Cultivator Natural Products. With over a dozen published articles in national and international journals and thoughtful blog contributions, Dr. Gupta’s multidisciplinary expertise advances knowledge in holistic wellness and scientific innovation.

Sandeep Sharma

Sandeep Sharma

General Manager at Cultivator Phytolab

Sandeep Sharma is a seasoned Quality and Laboratory Management systems professional with 19+ years of experience. Currently the General Manager at Cultivator Phyto Lab Pvt. Ltd., he has expertise in analytical science, QMS implementation, training, auditing (ISO 22000, ISO/IEC 17025), and business development. He excels in laboratory design, development, and operational excellence, and is a certified Lead Auditor and scientific writer.

Reference :

  5. REGULATION (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.