Best before date (BBD)

What does best-before date mean?

The best-before date (BBD) is a specified labeling element that must be indicated on pre-packaged products. It indicates the date up to which a food can be consumed without any loss of taste or health risk if stored correctly. With the best before date, the product can usually still be consumed after the specified date.

The best-before date also plays a major role in logistics. This is because the first-expired-first-out (FEFO) principle must be observed when storing food, for example, to ensure that the best-before date is not exceeded.

Precise regulations:

The manufacturer can set the best-before date themselves and therefore similar products from different manufacturers can have a different best-before date.

If a best before date is specified, this must be marked with the phrase "best before ...". The day, month and year must also be specified. If the best-before date is not shown in connection with the set, this must be marked and noted in other places such as the base, bottle neck or lid.

Deviations such as these can also occur:

  • If the minimum shelf life is no more than three months, the year can be omitted.
  • If the minimum shelf life is more than three months, the day may be omitted.
  • If the best-before date is more than 18 months, then the best-before date must be shown with the sentence "best before the end of ...".


Logistik-Lexikon Mindesthaltbarkeitsdatum

Image source: Supit Choosavang / Shutterstock

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