Nutrition and DietYogurts will no longer have an expiration date

Yogurts will no longer have an expiration date

From now on, yogurts will not have an expiration date and only a date of preferential consumption, after modifying the law on March 8.

Food labels are extremely useful to provide the consumer with useful information to know their characteristics as required by regulations: ingredients, nutritional contribution, expiration date and preferred consumption date and packaging date, among others.

In this sense, the labeling of the product will depend precisely on the food in question, especially if we are dealing with a packaged food and one that is not packaged.

In relation to yogurts and the expiration date, surely that in many moments you have consumed a yogurt long after it allegedly had expired, being precisely in perfect condition for consumption.

The law in force since 2003 obliged yogurt manufacturers to set a maximum expiration date of 28 days from its production, so that – supposedly – its consumption was not recommended after this date.

The Spanish Government has put an end to this nonsense, especially after it became known that in our country a great variety of dairy products (especially yoghurts) were thrown away, in perfect condition for consumption but already expired.

After the regulatory changes carried out, the previous law in force since 2003 is repealed, so that from now on manufacturers of Yoghurts can establish a preferred consumption date that they consider appropriate, and it is not mandatory to include an expiration date.

And you will surely ask yourself: what is meant by a best before date? Very simple: it is the date indicated by the manufacturer for recommended consumption, during which the product does not lose its organoleptic properties (taste, texture, aroma). After this date it is possible that it loses some of its characteristics, but the product would still be suitable for consumption.

What is the use of an expiration date on a food? And why is it so useful?

When a food has an expiration date on its label, it means that it is fresh, perishable or that it presents a certain microbiological risk. It is, therefore, a food safety measure that tells us from what time -date- its consumption is inadvisable.

In the particular case of yogurts, until 2014 the expiration date was printed on their labeling, so that their limit was a total of 28 days after the moment of manufacture.  However, after the legislative change, it is the manufacturers who can freely decide whether their yogurts should indicate an expiration date, or a best before date, as well as their own duration.

Thus, today it is more common to find yogurts who’s labeling specifies a “best before date” instead of the “expiration date”, and we can also distinguish them under the name “Best before”.

And what does the so-called best-before date consist of? It basically consists of a date that indicates to the consumer the time -recommended- for the optimal consumption of the product without it losing nutritional or organoleptic properties (that is, taste, texture, aroma ..).


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