How do food businesses determine the correct shelf life information for their products?
The responsibility of determining the shelf life of a food, and thus its best-before or use-by date, lies with the manufacturer or distributor.
Correct Food Systems can advise business on how to estimate and then test the safe shelf life of a Characteristics of the product,including the quality, form and consistency of ingredients, the moisture content, acidity levels, addition of preservatives all influence the safety of a food product, as does external factors like storage, transport and packaging of the food.
The most direct way of doing this is to conduct properly constructed storage trials on a sample of food under realistic, controlled conditions.
Correct Food Systems is not a food laboratory testing facility.
There are food testing laboratories in each state and territory that can conduct microbiological tests for
- Food-borne micro-organisms such as Listeria, Salmonella, Campylobacter, E.Coli, Yeasts and Moulds, Staphylococcus Aureus, Bacillus Cereus and others
- Total viable count or plate count
NSW Food Authority has a useful publication to assist businesses to ascertain the shelf life and required date marking information for a product.
See our webpage "Shelflife testing"