Experts contain developed steering to lend a hand meals corporations identify what different details to present patrons apart from use-by or most moving-ahead of dates to be obvious meals security.

The European Food Security Authority (EFSA) scientific understanding covers storage conditions, slash-off dates for consumption after meals has been opened and thawing of frozen items.

Setting a limit for consumption in days after opening a kit, recurrently acknowledged as secondary shelf-existence, is complicated nonetheless experts contain created a call tree with five questions. Client habits and reasonably foreseeable conditions of use additionally would possibly well silent be even handed, they said.

After opening the kit, contamination would possibly well occur through air drift, fluid drip or attributable to person handling through fingers, utensils or containers, introducing recent pathogens into the meals and components similar to temperature and gas ambiance would possibly well trade, affecting microbiological security.

Components to retract into consideration


For these merchandise the effect opening the packaging outcomes in a trade within the procedure of pathogenic microorganisms within the meals or components rising their boost compared with the unopened product, the tool reveals the secondary shelf existence desires to be shorter or the linked because the initial use-by or most moving-ahead of date.

A shorter closing date for consumption after opening the kit than the recent date system that the secondary shelf-existence in days desires to be shorter than the likelihood of days between the time of opening the kit and these dates. The steering doesn’t justify how the closing date for consumption is also labored out to be shorter than the initial date.

Foods covered are non-frozen, raw and processed, prepacked foods. After opening, the meals would possibly well additionally very well be stored in a single other container or frail as an ingredient in a multi-ingredient meal and slash-off dates after opening talk about over with ahead of consumption or further processing of the meals.

When the kit of a meals supporting boost is opened conclude to the extinguish of the shelf-existence date, higher concentrations of bacteria is also anticipated than when it is some distance opened earlier. The level in time a meals kit is opened would possibly well have an effect on the initial concentration of pathogens on the time of opening, concentration of spoilage organisms and the growth ability of pathogens that are before all the pieces recent or launched after opening.

EFSA experts beforehand developed a decision tree of 10 questions for meals firm officers to lend a hand them identify whether a “use by” or “most moving ahead of” date desires to be frail. 

Defrosting advice


Freezing prevents boost of some pathogens, alternatively, some survive frozen storage, score higher all through thawing and then grow and procedure toxins in meals, if conditions are favorable. At some level of handling of thawed foods, further contamination would possibly well occur from the fingers, contact surfaces fancy utensils, or from different foods.

Thawing would possibly well silent occur at low temperatures, similar to within the fridge; thawed foods desires to be saved within the recent packaging or a shapely container to e-book obvious of contamination; patrons would possibly well silent note the producer’s instructions on storage and preparation to be obvious meals stays safe; and defrosted meals would possibly well silent not be refrozen after thawing.

Solutions incorporated to score time-temperature details on reasonably foreseeable storage conditions of foods in EU countries; address details gaps on the outcomes of thawing on bacteria and to generate proof-based mostly advice on time and temperature storage conditions and meals preparation after thawing for items different than frozen vegetables.

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