Guidance on the application of date labels to food
This guidance will help businesses to decide whether to label their food products with either a ‘best before’ or a ‘use by’ date.
Ref: PB13629 PDF, 241KB
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.
Either one or the other of these dates is required by law but the choice is a technical decision by the food manufacturer. The guidance is principally a decision tree asking a series of important questions around the production of a food product from a microbiological perspective.
Although this new guidance is principally aimed at food businesses, including trade associations and similar representative groups, it will help consumers indirectly by improving the consistency of the use of the ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ date marks.