The expiration date (DLC) is a warning present on many food products, playing an essential role in protecting consumers’ health. Often confused with the Minimum Durability Date (MDD), it is essential to understand the meaning of the DLC to avoid any health risks and optimize product quality.
What is the expiration date (DLC)?
The expiration date is a mandatory indication on food packaging, representing the period during which the product can be safely consumed. After this date, the health safety of the product is no longer guaranteed, exposing consumers to microbial, chemical or physical risks.
Difference between DLC and DDM
It is essential to distinguish DLC from DDM. The Minimum Durability Date (MDD), previously called Optimal Use Date (BBD), concerns the quality of the product and not its safety. After MDD, the product may lose texture, flavor or nutritional value, but generally remains consumable without major risks.
The risks associated with not complying with the DLC
Ignoring the DLC exposes consumers to serious risks, such as food poisoning. Bacteria, mold or other pathogens can proliferate beyond the expiration date, putting individuals’ health at risk. Sensitive people, such as children, the elderly and pregnant women, are particularly vulnerable.
How to play a DLC?
DLC is usually listed in the form “To be consumed by…” or “To be consumed before…”. It is essential to respect this date and not consume the product beyond it, even if it still appears to be in good condition. Certain products, such as meat and dairy products, require special attention.
Proper preservation: a key factor
While the expiration date is a reliable guide, the way a product is stored influences its shelf life. Following packaging storage instructions, such as refrigeration temperature, is essential to ensure food safety.
Reduce food waste
DLC also has an impact on food waste. Consumers are encouraged to purchase quantities appropriate to their consumption and to respect deadlines to avoid wasting products that are still perfectly consumable. Retailers are also encouraged to optimize their inventory management practices.
Initiatives to raise awareness and educate
Awareness campaigns are carried out by health authorities and consumer organizations to educate the public about the importance of respecting DLCs. Practical tips such as stock rotation and proper storage are often shared to minimize risk and waste.