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stephanepare t1_j6juhdm wrote

The "best before" date is actualy a "tastes optimal if opened before". It's a guestimate, based on experiments. It has nothing to do with food spoiling, so they can afford to approximate.

Usually, there are some tests before launching some new product line with different sealed containers sitting there for different amounts of time at room temperature or fridges. For dates a year or more away, they guess using science. Petri dish cultures, for example, can help them extrapolate future dates just by watching the bacteria growth rate.


BadWrongBadong t1_j6l5agz wrote

I can imagine it would be much more risky from a liability standpoint to have a spoilage-based date on foods.


stephanepare t1_j6lki92 wrote

That's half the reason. The other reason is for marketing purposes. This way, you guarantee taste, not edibility. You get less complaints that your stuff doesn't taste good, as people know they're past the "best before" date.