Search This Blog

Reading Canned Food's Expiration Dates

We found the following information at: http://www.foodreference.com/html/tcannedfoodshelflife.html
In a well-run supermarket, foods on the shelf will be rotated on a regular basis, so there is continuous turnover. Each canned food manufacturer has a unique coding system. Some manufacturers list day, month and year of production, while other companies reference only the year. These codes are usually imprinted on the top or bottom of the can. Other numbers may appear and reference the specific plant manufacturing or product information and are not useful to consumers. Below is a sampling of how some manufacturers code their products so consumers know when the product was packaged. If you have specific questions about a company's product, contact a customer service representative at the phone number listed.

Note: For month coding, if a number is used, numbers 1 through 9 represent January through September, and letters O for October, N for November and D for December. If letters are used, A=Jan. and L=Dec., unless otherwise noted.

Note: For year coding, 8=1998; 9=1999; 0=2000; 1=2001; 2=2002, etc.

Bush Brothers & Company (voice: 865/509-2361)
Four digits
Position 1: Month
Position 2 and 3: Day
Position 4: Year
Example: 2061 (February 6, 2001)

Chiquita Processed Foods (voice: 800/872-1110)
Ten digits (only 6-8 are pertinent to consumers)
Position 6: Year (A=1999, B=2000, C=2001, etc.)
Position 7 and 8: Julian Date
Example: A195 (July 14, 1999-July 14 is the 195th day of the year)

Del Monte Foods (voice: 800/543-3090)
First line, four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
Example: 9045 (February 14, 1999)

Faribault Foods
Consumers can send inquiries and product coding numbers via an online contact form, and a company representative will help them understand the coding. http://www.faribaultfoods.com/

Furman Foods (voice: 877/877-6032)
Second line, first four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
Example: 9045 (February 14, 1999)

Hirzel Canning (voice: 800/837-1631)
First line, four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
Example: 0195 (July 14, 2000- July 14th is the 195th day of the year)

Hormel Foods Corporation (voice: 800/523-4635)
Five digits on the top line
Position 1-4: Information about plant and manufacturing
Position 5: Year
Example: XXXX0 (2000)

Lakeside Foods (voice: 920/684-3356)
Second line, second through fifth digits
Position 2: Month (Jan=1, Sept.=9, Oct.=A, Nov.=B, Dec.=C)
Position 3 and 4: Date
Position 5: Year
Example: 4A198 (October 19, 1998)

Maple Leaf Consumer Foods (voice: 800/268-3708)
Top of can, grouping of last four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2, 3, and 4: Julian Date
Example: 9130 (May 9, 1999)

Mid-Atlantic Foods (voice: 410/957-4100)
Second through fourth digits
Position 2: Month (letter)
Position 3: Date (A=1, Z=26)
Position 4: Year
Example: MDE0 (April 5, 2000)

Pillsbury/Green Giant and Progresso (voice: 800/998-9996)
Five digits
Position 1: Month (letter)
Position 2: Year
Position 3: Plant information
Position 4 and 5: Date
Example: G8A08 (July 8, 1998)

Seneca Foods (voice: 315/926-6710)
Two digits on the first line
Position 1: Month (letter)
Position 2: Year
Example: L1 (December 2001)

Stagg Chili (voice: 800/611-9778)
Second through sixth digits
Position 2 and 3: Month
Position 4 and 5: Day
Position 6: Year
Example: S02050 (February 5, 2000)"

Information provided by the Canned Food Alliance."

A huge thanks to the people at http://www.foodreference.com/ for doing all of this research. Very helpful!

No comments: