Gail Sessoms, a grant writer and nonprofit consultant, writes about nonprofit, small business and personal finance issues. The federal government only requires expiration dates on baby foods and infant formula. Open dating uses calendar dates and closed, or coded, dating is a process used by manufacturers to help with managing inventory.
She volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate, has a background in social services and writes about issues important to families. does not have a uniform system of coding expiration dates on food products as of 2010, according to the U. Closed coding is used on products with longer shelf lives, such as canned and boxed foods.
It is intended to help the store determine how long to display the product for sale, and help consumers know the time limit to purchase or use the product at its best quality. Even though federal regulations do not require dating of most products, the regulations do require that if a date is used, it must express both the month and day of the month (and year, in the case of shelf-stable and frozen products).
If the code uses letters, the letter A represents January and each subsequent letter represents the next month, ending with L for December.Examine the number to determine if the manufacturer uses a Julian date, which is a number that states the number of days since the first day of the current year.