Most expiry dates on food based on assumption

Saddif Ovee
Published : 03:00, Feb 19, 2020 | Updated : 03:00, Feb 19, 2020

A general view of a grocery shop at a Dhaka market. NASHIRUL ISLAM/File PhotoIn most cases, the expiry date of a product is based on assumption. Most companies are not adhering to the rule of testing food to determine the expiry limit.
As per the Food and Drug Administration, FDA of USA, there isn’t a scientific policy to determine the expiry date of food items but companies can test their food at their own laboratories to determine a time limit.
In the past, the terms ‘use before’ ‘sell by’ and ‘expires on’ were used on items in the USA, but now, to avoid confusion among users, the term ‘best if used by’ is suggested by the FDA.
Acting chairman of Safe Food Department, Mahbub Kabir, said: “Fixing of the tenure of a food item depends on research; for instance, scientists know when a biscuit will become soggy and get affected by fungi; big companies test these in the lab but in our country, many just place dates based on assumption.”
However, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution, BSTI, claims that there is a chance to test food items, otherwise, BSTI, does not give licence.
Director of certification mark wing of the agency Sajjadul Bari, adds: “How a company gives the expiry date depends on them; some companies give three months while others give one year.”
But there isn’t an institution to monitor the system, he added.