What You Need to Know About Food Expiration Dates

What You Need to Know About Food Expiration Dates

A general overview of what to look out for when you are buying food from the bakery

Cakes, pastries, and baked savory items are real mood-lifters. Not feeling well? Order a lamington. Stressed because of work? Bite into a delectable piece of chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. Have guests at home? Order in the loved doughnuts. Cakes always work. They are problem-solvers, champions as stress busters, and highly desirable while celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.

Though they are great for many reasons and occasions, it is important that you buy fresh products. Baked goods can be categorized as perishable and semi-perishable goods. This means that they must be consumed immediately or at the least within a week or two, depending on what you are eating. Since they are not packaged food, in most cases you will not find expiry date printed on them. Then, how do you know whether you are buying a freshly baked cake or one that is stale?

This is where a little knowledge about the Food Expiration Dates and how long baked items can last is helpful. Today, we shall be talking about these things.

Food Expiration Date  


At the very beginning, we must talk about a few terminologies that you must be aware of in food expiration dates.

  • Sell-By Date–This refers to the last day until when the food will have its highest level of quality. It is mostly used by retailers as a guide to push through sale of items that will expire soon. The sell-by date doesn’t necessarily mean that after the day, you cannot consume the item.
  • Best Before Date –This is strictly a reference to the quality of food. ‘Best by’ is used by-products that can get spoiled if not consumed within the specified date.
  • Guaranteed Fresh Date – A term that is most used by bakeries to tag their items (mostly for their personal reference). It refers to the date until when the food items will be guaranteed fresh.
  • Use By Date –This is the date until when the food product can be used and will be at the peak of its quality. It is determined by the manufacturer and is mostly used for packaged food items.
  • Packed Date – This is used mostly in bread and packed bakery items where the manufacturers mention the date when the item was packed. Though this doesn’t outline how long the product will be fresh, it gives a fair idea of how long the item will remain fresh.

Food Expiry in Bakery Items    


When it comes to items displayed on the counter of a bakery store, it is difficult to judge their freshness. Customers mostly must rely on what the shopkeeper says and believe their version. That’s why as a consumer, there are a few things you can do to identify the freshness of baked goods.

  • Buy from Popular Bakeries –A popular bakery with at least 20 customers every day will have to keep fresh items in their store. If you want fresh cakes and bakes, go to the most popular store in town.
  • Check How They Are Displayed –Cakes, pastries, and savory items are usually kept inside a sealed display unit in bakeries. Before you place an order, note how the items are arranged inside the display unit. Are they vacuum-sealed? Does the frosting look dry and stale? Does the cake have a dried-out crust? These are indicators of freshness.
  • Order Online –Many bakeries nowadays let their customers order online. Ordering online is a good idea a son web portal, bakeries usually mention the best before date. You can check them out before ordering your favorite red velvet cake or chocolate gnash cake.

How Long Can You Store Baked Goods at Home?

This is a common concern for many. How long can I keep it at home before consuming or throwing the baked good? It is generally accepted that baked goods must be consumed fresh, but they can be refrigerated for at least 2 weeks. However, when you refrigerate, cakes and bread tend to dry out and become stale. Though they don’t get ‘spoiled’, they are no longer good to eat. If you have a cake with icing and want to store it for a couple of days at home, then always buy one where buttercream has been used. Whipped cream is airy which allows moisture to enter, making the cake soggy.

Next time you want to buy cakes and other baked items, don’t forget to estimate and check the Food Expiration Dates.

Summary – In this write-up, we talk about the expiration dates in bakery goods and a few things you must be aware of.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

1.Which food item in the bakery has the longest expiry time?

Cookies are tasty, soft, and easily digestible food that can fill your empty stomach. Cookies are rich in calories and have a longer shelf life than bread because of their higher fat content. The fat content of cookies makes them more durable than bread because cookies contain little moisture; therefore they retain their lifespan for a long.

2.Is there a way to tell if the food that has passed its expiration date is still safe to eat?

Yes, you can still eat food that has passed its expiration date if you follow these steps: 1. Check the appearance of the food. Discoloration, mold, and slime are all signs of food spoilage. 2. Smell the food. If the food smells spoiled, then it is. 3. Taste the food. If the food tastes spoiled, then it is.

If the expiration date is not visible, under a best by label or over the packaging, take the food home and put it in your refrigerator, but do not eat it. If the food passes all three steps, then it is still safe to eat.

3.Do you think the food expiration labels should be altered to suit different countries?

The general rule is that food should be thrown away if it has gone bad. Every material has a shelf life that is different from others. Factors like temperature, moisture, light, or even the amount of oxygen around the food can make the shelf life different from one product to another. So expiration date is a good rule, but it’s not universal across all countries. Temperature is a major factor in food expiration dates. Products that will be consumed in countries with warmer temperatures should be labeled accordingly, such as 9 months instead of 12.

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