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.

This includes foods which you freeze on site or bottled sauces, jams, chocolate, or other products the manufacturer has specified with a shelf life over 7 days.

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

January 18th is Winnie the Pooh Day and, as we all know, Winnie the Pooh loves honey.  Did you know that two tablespoons of honey would be enough to fuel a bee’s entire flight around the world!