What is Expiration: Definition and Types You Need to Know


Almost everyone knows the term expiration. Yes, this term is generally found in food or drink. However, there are some types of expiration that not everyone knows what they mean. If we don’t pay attention, we will harm ourselves with the food or drink we consume.

For that, in this article, we will explain the meaning of expiration and its types that you need to know.

Definition of Expiration

Many people recognise the term expiration as a time limit for consuming food and beverages. Expired is a food or beverage product that has passed the consumption limit.

Food, drinks, and even beauty products have an expiration date. Expiration is used to indicate the time limit of use.

In the legal world itself, expiration is a term that is commonly used with a time limit for use so that if a product has expired or consumers use a product or buy a product in a store that turns out to be expired, they can sue for a criminal act of expiry. Thus, the prosecutor will lose his right to prosecute the criminal case.

To find out when the food, beverage, or beauty product we buy expires, we can usually look at the expiration date. Food, drink, or beauty products typically have expired date, best before, and use by date.

Types of Expiration

There are 3 types of expiry that you must know first, the expiration date, the best before, and the use-by date. The explanation is as follows:

1. Expired Date

The expired date is the length of time the food, drink, or beauty product is in good condition. The expired date can be interpreted as a date that can be consumed before it rots, is not nutritious or has no value and is even unsafe for consumption.
Expired date is used in food, beverage or beauty product packaging as its shelf life for a certain period of time. However, in other countries such as Europe, the expiration date is usually used to indicate the shelf life of food.

The way to read the expired date is as follows:

For example, there is a product that has an expiration date of July 29, 2021. So after July 29, 2021, the product has passed its expiration date and is not safe for consumption.

2. Best Before Date

The best before date is the date on which food, drink or beauty products have minimal resistance in order to maintain their specific properties if stored correctly and adequately. The term best before date is more associated with food quality, texture, aroma, etc.

Manufacturers usually use the best before date as an indication of food if it is stored in certain places such as refrigerators, light-free places and various other places. In general, foods that have the best before date are frozen foods such as pasta, sausages, canned foods and different other types of food.

With this term, food producers will usually estimate that food that has passed its best before date is expected to be still consumed. However, if the food does not have a good appearance, then the food is no longer suitable for consumption.

The way to read the best before date is as follows:

For example, there is a frozen food product with a best before the date of July 29, 2021. So on July 30, 2021, the food can still be consumed. However, the texture, aroma, and so on may not be as good as before the best before date.

The thing to note is if you want to consume the best before-date food that has passed, make sure you observe the condition of the food well. This is to ensure whether the food is still in good condition, such as mould-free.

However, if the condition of the food has changed markedly so that you are not sure to consume it, then you should not eat the food.

3. Use By Date

Use by date is a calendar that is seen from the point of view of the emergence of microbiology, such as fungi, bacteria and so on in food. The term used date is used for foodstuffs that are generally easily decomposed, such as meat, fish, milk and so on. So that use by date can be interpreted as the maximum date the product can be consumed safely.

Anyone realises that food that is stored continuously will inevitably experience the emergence of mould and bacteria, which in turn causes food spoilage. For this reason, food that has passed its use date should not be consumed again because it can cause infection or poisoning, which actually endangers your health.

The way to read use by date is as follows:

You buy meat in a supermarket with use by the date of July 29, 2021. So you should consume it before that date or maximum on that date. Because if it has passed its use by date, then it could be that bacteria such as mushrooms and so on have been attached or even increased in the meat.

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