What is Meant by Sell by Date


Usually, Sell By Date indicates the date that remains imprinted on the cover of a product. It indicates the last date by which the product must be sold or consumed.

The definition of sell is to hand over any sort of goods in exchange for money and sell-by date means that the goods shall be sold or used within that date. It is generally applied for perishable goods like food.

Sell By Date
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Food Expiration Date decoding

The regulations set up by an organization or by the government in a country ascertain that at least one among the below-mentioned labels must be imprinted on the packet of food.  These are:


The manufacturer is liable to mention a certain month or a year up to which the food is possible to sell. This date is based on the calculations of the manufacturer depending on how long he feels his product remains good to use. 

If anyone is found selling a product that has crossed its expiry dates, then it would be considered as a punishable offense.


Use by date means the scheduled time up to which a product should be consumed. This label is also to be set by the manufacturer. ‘Best before’ is another term for ‘Use By Date’

Closed Date

This label is seldom found in the food packets. This is a number that is used by the manufacturer to keep track of a product during recall. This number enables the stores to find out the packaging and delivery date of a product and based on that the store owner shall keep the product on display in his store.

Expiry Date

Products like egg cartons must have an expiry date or a “pack date” displayed on them. So, the stores as well as the customers are aware till when they can use the product.

How long can food be stored?

While the definition of sell is said to be exchanging goods for money and sell-by date imposed the last date by which the sold goods must be used. But the sell-by date has nothing to do with food safety.

There are goods like canned foods and soft drinks that would remain for a longer time exceeding the sell-by date if stored properly in the refrigerator.  Canned foods like high acid foods and ketchup last for at least four years if stored properly.

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