Use-by or best-before dates on food labels
Most food sold in New Zealand must show a use-by or best-before date (also known as a date mark) on its label.
What date mark to show
Your label must show a:
- 'use-by' date if your product, if not consumed by that date, may make people sick
- 'best-before' date, if it's still safe, but of reduced quality, after that date.
Bread products with a shelf life under 7 days may show a best-before, baked-on, or baked-for date.
Small packages (surface area under 100 square cm) need only show a use-by date if there is one.
When no date mark is needed
Your label doesn't need a date mark if it:
- has a shelf life of 2 years or longer
- is a single serve of ice cream or ice confection.
More on date marks
What else must be on food and drink labels?
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