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The indications noted on food products are essential for our health. After listing the ingredients, it’s important to check a food’s expiration date to see if it’s still good. But there are two very distinct types of dates which do not have the same meaning: the DLC and the DDM. Today, we take stock of their difference.

The DLC means “use by date”. It is therefore important for health to respect it and therefore not to exceed it. Indeed, beyond this limit, the foods concerned prove to be unfit for consumption since they represent a health risk. Consumers are therefore more exposed to the risk of food poisoning, for example. Companies are also prohibited from selling products with an expired expiration date under penalty of sanctions, as explained ine government website. The professional is then obliged to destroy the food.

We find the DLC on fresh or very perishable and packaged products, as is the case for already cut meat, cold meats, refrigerated ready meals or even yogurts.

Unlike the DLC, there is no risk in consuming foods marked “DDM”. In fact, these three letters mean “minimum durability date” and concern “less perishable foods”, as indicated on the government website. In this case, we are not talking about fresh products, but rather dry foods such as flour, pasta, honey, sugar or even biscuits. It is thus possible to keep them much longer. The DDM is recognizable since it is distinguished with a mention “to consume preferably before….”.

Therefore, exceeding this date is not dangerous for the health of consumers. However, over time, the quality of the product may deteriorate. The latter can thus lose some of its nutritional or even taste qualities.

Unlike products with an expiry date, foods whose expiry date has been exceeded can be marketed because they are still consumable, unless the packaging is altered.

Remember to check the appearance of the product as well as its visual appearance and smell if in doubt.


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