Example: A code of B148C23 would be B=Feb, 14 = the fourteenth day, 8=1998. A five character packing code, usually on the bottom.B148C23=February 14, 1998 and the last three characters would be plant or processing line locations. The first digit is the month, the next two digits is the day of the month, the next number is the year and the last digit is ignored. The first character is a digit representing the year. GENERAL MILLS: The manufacturing date is coded to their fiscal year that begins on June 1st and ends on May 31st.Be sure to check a number of containers in a product line to verify that a particular code key will work with the product line you are interested in.ARMOUR STAR CANNED MEAT PRODUCTSVienna Sausage, Stew, Chili, Deviled Ham, Potted Meat, Slice Dried Beef, Soups, etc.The year may be at the end or beginning of the code. The code may use the standard month (M), day (D) and year (Y) system. Remember that the month digits can only be from 01 to 12 and that the day digits can only be between 01 and 31. If the code does not resemble either of the previous codes, it is most likely using the Julian Calendar, which assigns a number for each day of the year from 1 to 365. While it is better to have an encoded date than not to have one at all, it would be far better if processors would just use clear open dating and (best used by) so we wouldn't have to carry a book of code keys like covert agents every time we go to the grocery.Should you happen to call a processor customer service number you might tell them this in an effort to encourage them.
The second line is the is date and uses the same code as above. The second character in the code is a number which represents the year the product was made.To read food expiration date codes, learn the different types of dates used for expiration codes.Determine if the code is using letters for months, the Julian calendar or a month-day-year code. The various codes and numbering systems cause consumer confusion, which results in consumers discarding wholesome food.This number is then followed by a single letter such as "B" and then by a single digit that represents the year.
Some examples of this might be: IMPORTANT NOTE: I have not personally verified all of these code keys.
Continue Reading In the United States there is no standard system for dating food, according to the Department of Agriculture. The USDA estimates that 30 percent of the food supply is lost or wasted at the consumer and retail levels.