Date coding is the marking of each product after production with a date. Every product produced on site has a batch and date code which allows each ingredient or part to be traced back to origin and makes each product fully traceable. Date coding is used in each branches from the pharma industry, food industry, automotive industry, electronic industry, cable industry to cosmetic industry and beverage industry. This can be either the date of manufacture or expiration, the best before date , the sell-by date or the use-by date. These dates serve the customer and the producer. The customer gets security by dates like best before, use-by or sell-by especially of perishable goods like food or cosmetics. The best before date is a recommendation for best flavor or quality. The use-by date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality and the sell-by date tells the store how long to display the product for sale, the customer should buy it before the end of this date. The manufacturer knows by the date coding in which shift the product was produced. Therewith a complete traceability of the product is warranted.
Without date coding: Date coding of products is not required in generally although dating of some foods is required by more than 20 states of the USA, there are areas of the USA where much of the food supply has some type of open date and other areas where almost no food is dated. In such cases a secure traceability is not given and also for the customer it is difficult to identify if the product is fresh and can be used. Therefore especially in the food industry date coding is very important otherwise it could lead to serious health damages for example by germs or mold.
Global standards product dating is not worldwide generally required by Federal regulations and there is no uniform or universally accepted system on date coding. Depending on the packaging, device size, product type, manufacturing country, producing factory and subsidiaries, date code formats vary significantly by supplier or even within suppliers.