California food product dating

(a) Except as otherwise provided in Food and Agricultural Code Section 36004(c), the licensed milk products plant which bottles or packages the following products shall be responsible for affixing the quality assurance date to all containers which are offered for sale to the consumer by a retail store: market milk, market cream, skim or non-fat milk, half and half, sour cream, sour cream dressing, low-fat milk, flavored milk, flavored dairy drink, yogurt, concentrated milk, concentrated skim milk, acidophilus milk, buttermilk and cultured buttermilk, cottage cheese, creamed cottage cheese, homogenized creamed cottage cheese spread, and partially creamed or low-fat cottage cheese.(b) The quality assurance date shall be readily identifiable by the consumer.If a numerical sequence of months and days is used, it may not be located on the container with other numbers such as factory license number or lot numbers unless such other numbers are clearly identified.Canned goods past the expiration date are still safe to eat if the can is not dented, rusted or swollen.

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“These surveys document that consumers are using date labels to make decisions and that they’re throwing away food they don’t have to because of misunderstandings of what those labels mean,” says Roni Neff, a director at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and a lead author of both the 20 studies. The recent Re FED report estimated that date labels cost American consumers almost billion annually.There are no federal guidelines for dating food products; 20 states have laws on the books about food dating, but they are inconsistent.“Dates on manufactured food products usually indicate how long the food can be kept on store shelves for best quality, but it is unrelated to its safety,” Ganthavorn said.However, USDA's regulations closely parallel FDA's rules..." taken from All packaged foods regulated by FDA must comply with food allergen labeling requirements after 2005.A "major food allergen" is an ingredient that is one of five foods or one of three food groups (or is an ingredient that contains protein derived from one of the eight categories): milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts or soybeans.And that’s before you consider “expires on,” “sell by,” and the dreaded date without a label.

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