what are the use-by dates on products really worth?


Article written by

PM. Degorce, G. Pinol, V. Travert, R. Gardeux, S. Sahki, JB. Robert – France 2

France Televisions

Fighting against food waste is also a way to save money. How are the DLCs fixed? Investigation.

Use-by or best-before dates are displayed everywhere on packaging in supermarkets. But how, and who determines them? Head to a company in the Drôme, which produces two million crème brûlées each year. It is here the manufacturer who is the guarantor of the freshness of the product. It sets the expiry date. The CEO, Lionel Berenguierprefers to rely on a laboratory. We don’t have the technical expertise or even the equipment to do these analyzes“, he justifies. The small jars arrive at the laboratory in their packaging. The products first go through the fridge and the cold room.

Some customers ask us to undergo a cold chain break of two hours at 20°C, which simulates the duration of a purchase”explains Sabrina Mercy, technical manager of food hygiene at the laboratory LB2A. After its accelerated ageing, the dessert cream is put to the test with a series of operations to test its resistance. DLCs ​​may vary: a few days for fish and meat, about twenty for ham, and more than 30 days for dairy products. The DLC must not be exceeded for health reasons. On the other hand, the date of maximum durability concerns only the taste or the appearance of the products, which can degrade over time.

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