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Cans must exhibit a packing code to enable tracking of the product in interstate commerce.This enables manufacturers to rotate their stock as well as to locate their products in the event of a recall.There is no book or web site that tells how to translate the codes into dates.

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Pack date is when the food was manufactured, processed or packaged.

If you need to return a product to the store because of poor quality, often the manufacturer will ask about this date on the package.

To learn more about product dating, please visit the USDA by clicking here.

According to federal regulations, open dating is not required except on infant formula (“Use-By” dates are mandated for these products).

Every day we shop we see our foods stamped with “best before dates”.