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 x 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, you cook a lasagna on Monday so 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.


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 April is National Garlic month.  

Garlic has many antioxidant properties and enhances the body’s immune system.  Its pungent flavour is caused by a chemical reaction that occurs when the garlic cells are broken.  The flavour is most intense just after mincing.

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