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There is no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating in the United States.Although dating of some foods is required by more than 20 states, there are areas of the country where much of the food supply has some type of open date and other areas where almost no food is dated. The FDA only has guidelines on labeling a product and the required information.They meet in even years and revisions to the "Federal Food Code" made in odd years. Contact your congressrep (click thru to web page of individual for email addy) or senator.I could not find a consumer site that was not manufacturer related. You may want to view and sign this online petition.To explain, FDA's regulations pertain, among other things, to food safety.

Other numbers may appear and reference the specific plant manufacturing or product information and are not useful to consumers.

Product dating is not required by Federal regulations although dating of some foods is required by 15 states.

Calendar dates are found primarily on perishable foods such as dairy products, eggs, meat and poultry.

Canned food retains its safety and nutritional value well beyond two years, but it may have some variation in quality, such as a change of color and texture.

Canning is a high-heat process that renders the food commercially sterile.

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