Do you know the difference between the expiration date and the best-before date?

Expiration date (AESAN): The expiry date indicates the time until which the food can be safely consumed.

As guidelines for the safe consumption of these foods, it is established:

  • Do not consume any food after the ‘best-before’ date.

  • Follow the storage instructions, e.g. “keep in the refrigerator” or “keep at 2-4 °C”, otherwise the food will spoil sooner and there is a risk of food poisoning if consumed.

  • Once a package with a ‘best-before’ date has been opened, follow the storage and consumption instructions, e.g. ‘once opened, consume within three days’, bearing in mind that the food must be consumed before the ‘best-before’ date has passed.

Recommended best-before date (AESAN): The best-before date indicates the time until which the food retains the expected (organoleptic) quality.

As a guideline for the consumption of these foods:

  • The food is still safe for the consumer after the “best-before” date, as long as the storage instructions are respected and its packaging is not damaged; however, it may start to lose flavour and texture.
  • When opening a package of food with a “best before” date, follow the instructions, e.g. “once opened, use within three days”.

Vegetable canned products are products that have a best-before date, and therefore, they can be consumed for a long time after their production, and even if they have been preserved correctly (without bruises or oxidation), they can be consumed later without risk.

This is why a good vegetable canned product, made from fresh produce, km=0, with no added preservatives, and with a long best before date (ranging from 3 to 5 years) is an ally in the reduction of food waste and long-term sustainability (as it does not require refrigeration in its logistics or conservation).

Correct labelling equals a consumer who is well informed of the differences between these two dates which equals a distribution chain that controls and plans stocks and product dates well and is also mindful of food waste, are today the key to better quality, safer and more sustainable food.