Tip of the Week

Food Date Labelling Rules

Foods with a USE BY day within 7 days – Use Coloured Day Dots.  The coloured dot is the USE BY day.

Foods with a USE BY day longer than 7 days – use a HACCP label

Manufactured Packaged Foods

  • All packaged foods are labelled with the manufacturer’s best before or use by dates.  Whilst the food remains unopened, adhere to the manufacturer’s date.
  • Once a pack is opened, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines which will state “Use within xxx days of opening”.  Some foods have a shelf life of 3 days (processed ham/smoked salmon, etc.) – use a Coloured Day Dot.  But some foods have a longer shelf life of up to 28 days (bottled sauces, chocolate, jam, etc.) – use a HACCP label.

Fresh Foods Prepared on Site

  • Fresh foods prepared or cooked on site have a 3 day shelf life.  For example, if you cook a lasagna on Monday , use a Day Dot for Wednesday – 3 days including day of cooking.
  • Label with a Coloured Day Dot

Foods Cooked and Frozen on Site

  • Homecooked foods frozen on site need to be labelled using a HACCP label giving a 1 month date life.
  • Information on the label should include – Product description, date of freezing and use by date.
  • When removing from freezer to defrost – add a coloured day dot to identify the defrosted use by date.


Shelf life less than 7 days – use a Coloured Day Dot.  Shelf life over 7 days – use a HACCP label

Weekly Food Fact

Did you know that, calorie for calorie, broccoli has more protein than steak but has no cholesterol or fats.  Time to get munching.

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