When we buy a certain food product it is very common that, when putting them in the shopping cart either in the market or in the supermarket, we look at their Date of Expiry , which is the one that indicates the deadline for consumption, and that tells us about the period of time during which that food can be consumed without posing any type of risk to health.
However, it is also possible to find other informative information about its consumption and that in reality it has little to do with its expiration date, but it is an important fact because it guides us about its most appropriate consumption date. It is known as Preferential use date , that in the package of the foods we find like "to consume preferably before ..." or "to consume preferably before the end of or of end of ...".
What is the date of preferential consumption of a food?
It basically consists of the date that indicates the time recommended for consumption without the food or food product losing organoleptic and nutritional properties . And what are the organoleptic properties of a food? Fundamentally are the characteristics related to the appearance, texture and flavor of the food product.
That is, while the expiration date is used mainly for perishable or highly perishable products from which the product should not be ingested, the date of preferential consumption is the time in which the food - without opening - maintains its properties as long as adequate conditions of conservation are respected.
This means that, after this date, the quality of the product tends to decrease, but does not cause or cause health problems as it would happen with the expiration date.
Is it safe to consume food after that date?
Since you are not indicating an expiration date as a limit and you are indicating a preference date regarding your consumption, food and food products that indicate the date of preferential consumption can be consumed after that date without posing a risk to health .
Of course, as indicated above, yes there would be a loss in quality and nutritional composition .
In which foods is the date of preferential consumption or of minimum duration usually used?
This date is usually used in eggs, in dehydrated foods such as purées or soups, in sterilized foods such as boxes of milk or cans, or in products and foods that contain little water, such as oils, cereals and legumes.