Use by dates or best before dates are usually, but not always, a legal requirement. The rules around determining shelf life can be complex and the MPI Food Safety guidance document is over 40 pages long. And want to know a secret, that’t not even the main document you’ll need to refer to.
A conservative shelf life can cost a lot of money in wastage and returns, and a product that doesn’t maintain its quality to the end of its shelf life will cost you dearly, and one that doesn’t remain safe might cost your customer even more.
Shelf life calculations are sometimes easy. For the right product, starting with a good guess is both safe and suitable when done by someone qualified to make that judgement. This approach taken by the wrong person can be disasterous.
Longer shelf life products can also be a nightmare and that’s where accelerated shelf life testing can come into play. This is about the most inexact discipline there is in food science, but can offer some benefits and if you want to know if your product is likely to last 6 months, 12 months, or 24 months, then this could be a good option.
Whatever your product or needs, we know food and can help you run this gauntlet with the minimal risk to your business and your customers.