‘Use by’ dates
The shelf life of chilled foods is marked on labels by a ‘use by’ date. This is the date after which the food should not be consumed. It is determined by the date of production, the food’s shelf life and a built-in margin of safety, as determined by the manufacturer or retailer. Once the food packaging is opened it is important to follow any additional instructions, such as eat within two days of opening. If the food can be frozen at home this will be clearly marked on the label.