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Food,animal & human, use by dates


My local Foodworks is selling dog food marked as best before
Human food is generally marked use by to the best of this shoppers knowledge.

Is the dogfood out of date and should it be removed from the shelves?

why is there a difference, is it just animal/human food or do some people food get marked best before too?


Hi @arcobelina,
You’ll find the ‘best before’ label on some foods for human consumption too. There is a difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ before - here are the definitions:

  • A best-before date is the last date on which you can expect a food to retain all of its quality attributes, provided it has been stored according to any stated storage conditions and the package is unopened. Quality attributes include things such as colour, taste, texture, flavour and freshness. A food that has passed its best-before date may still be perfectly safe to eat, but its quality may have diminished.

  • A use-by date is the last date on which the product may be consumed safely, provided it has been stored appropriately and the package is unopened. After this date, it should not be consumed for health and safety reasons. You’ll find use-by dates on perishables such as meat, fish and dairy products.

You can read more in our article on food labelling and what to watch out for:


An article regarding Woollies in Cairns being fined and convicted for having tins of baby formula for sale which had expired 5 months before.

Perhaps they should have had a special for the daigou buyers as it would still probably be safer than their local product.

Now how does the jingle go. Oh, that’s right. “Woolworths, the fresh food people”.