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Q & A - Date marking

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

Can you explain date marking better? Is it 6 or 7 days?


Thanks for your question. I know the 7-day discard date for TCS foods (those that need to be refrigerated) can sometimes be confusing.

Above is a photo of some tuna salad and pasta salad with the day the product was made. They were both made on 8/23. Most people will add 7 days to that, and assume the last day to safely use the products would be 8/30. That is not correct! You need to count the first day (8/23 in this case) as day 1 and therefore would only add 6 days to this date, making the last day to use the salads 8/29. Use your fingers to count 7 days starting with 23 as the first day.

The photo above shows some pate the chef said was cooked, cooled and frozen on 7/8. As you can see, he has added a pull date from the freezer. So can you determine the 7-day expiration date on this product?

We would count 7/8 as day 1. 8/17 as day 2 and so the last day to use this pate would be 8/22.

Hope that makes sense. If not contact me or talk to your inspector.

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