Dates on the products

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Different kind of products can have different kind of dates: date of production, laying date, best before, expiry date, use-by date, etc. The meaning of each notion might vary from different countries and their legislation.

Best before

This notion, sometimes shown as BBE (best before end), seems to be available in many countries with the same meaning: best before is related to food quality and not food safety. The food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best[1].

  • Australia and New Zealand: "Most foods have a best before date. You can still eat foods for a while after the best before date as they should be safe but they may have lost some quality. Foods that have a best before date can legally be sold after that date provided the food is fit for human consumption"[2], tells the official
  • Canada
  • Europe: see
  • France: this is called Date Limite d'Utilisation Optimale (DLUO) « à consommer de préférence jusqu'au/avant le… ». These sentences have to be mentioned completely.
    • "Les emballages des œufs comportent des mentions obligatoires, notamment :
      • La Date de Consommation Recommandée (DCR) [3]
  • United Kingdom
  • USA: Best if used by/best before seem commonly used. "A "Best if Used By/Before" date indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality.  It is not a purchase or safety date" [4].



This notion seems to be available in many countries with the same meaning: the products with a use-by date mustn't be eaten after this date. USA seems to be an exception to this.

  • Australia and New Zealand: "Foods that must be eaten before a certain time for health or safety reasons should be marked with a use by date. Foods should not be eaten after the use by date and can’t legally be sold after this date because they may pose a health or safety risk." [2]
  • France: "à consommer jusqu'au", "date limite de consommation (DLC)" [...]
  • USA: "A “Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. It is not a safety date except for when used on infant formula [...]" [4]


Manufactured on / Produced on

Laying date

  • France: "Des informations complémentaires peuvent également figurer sur l’emballage comme  la mention « Pondu le » qui correspond à l'indication de la date de ponte, pratique pour les consommateurs soucieux de la fraîcheur de leurs œufs." [3]


We're talking here about wines of course, but also sardines, and probably other kind of products.


In many cases the since mention is related to the brand. Eg:

But some since mentions are related to the product itself. Eg:

[To be completed]