Tuesday, 24 January 2012
The Use-by Date Mystery Solved
We bought some Tesco Juice Drinks last weekend and, while sharing some “Apple & Raspberry Juice Drink” with my 8-year old daughter, noticed that the ‘Use by:’ date appeared to be before she was born. On further examination, it appeared that all the juice drink cartons we have purchased recently from Tesco had dates on them (2003-2011) that would mean we should probably not be drinking the contents.
The juices tasted fine, so I suspected it could be a glitch in the printing on the TetraPaks. After a couple of phone calls to Penarth Marina Tesco, however, the mystery was solved.
Tesco do not put years on their fresh produce: only days, months, hours and minutes. Therefore, the Orange Juice Drink (with Bits), for example, is Display until 8 March and Use by 10 March, and the implication is that it is March of this year. Those other numbers along the ‘Use by:’ line are in fact Batch Numbers and not years at all!
However, can I make just one suggestion? It might be clearer for dim-witted consumers like myself if numbers, say from 2002 to 2015, were excluded from the range of possible Batch Numbers printed along the ‘Use by:’ lines on food products. Thanks for reading.