1. Home
  2. News
  3. Date Labels on Packaged Food, a Letter From the FDA
Nutrition Label

Date Labels on Packaged Food, a Letter From the FDA

FDA’s Deputy Commissioner of Food Policy and Response, Frank Yiannas, addressed the food industry about food waste in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service, food waste is at about 30 percent.

Food product dating, except for infant formula, is not required by Federal regulations. Therefore, manufacturers may provide voluntary product date labels, such as, “Best If Used By,” “Use By,” and “Sell By,” to help consumers with shelf-life and product quality. However, the varying product date labels tend to lead to consumer confusion about when products should be discarded.

To help increase consumer understanding and decrease food waste, the FDA encourages the food industry to use “Best If Used By” when voluntarily including a quality-based date label on food products.

The Tentamus Group, in particular, Tentamus North America, offers various services to assist in determining product quality, shelf-life, and compliance with the FDA Food Regulations:

  • Scientifically tested product shelf-life studies
  • Product sensory analysis for taste, texture, and smell
  • Product analysis for microbial and chemical safety to ensure food is not adulterated
  • Product full label review for compliance to avoid misbranding
  • Product nutritional analysis and nutrition fact creation and review to avoid misbranding
  • Product Food Safety Plan/HACCP creation and consultation for overall food safety and compliance

 Frank Yiannas’ letter to industry regarding food date coding can be found here: https://www.fda.gov/media/125114/download


Get in touch with our experts. We’re ready to discuss your requirements.



Vy Goddard, Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Tentamus North America
P +1 540 684 9211

Tentamus laboratories in your vicinity