Expiry Times Explanation – What Are The Best Expiry Times

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5 things you should know about food expiry dates

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Decoding ‘best before’ and ‘expiry date’ labels

Checking the “best before” and “expiry date” labels on foods, from milk and cheese to bread and meats, is one of the first things consumers should do before throwing them in their grocery carts.

But what do these labels mean?

A Health Canada advisory issued earlier this week informs consumers about what they should know before stocking their fridges and cupboards.

For instance, in Canada, a best-before sticker must appear on almost all prepackaged foods that will keep fresh for 90 days or less, Kirsten Mattison of Health Canada’s bureau of microbial hazards told CBC News on Friday.

Brenda Watson, executive director of the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education, adds: “Those best-before dates are the manufacturer’s promise to the consumer that the packaging and the food within them will be of the highest quality standard and will contain the nutrients as outlined on the label.

“After that date, the promise no longer stands.…Definitely when a consumer purchases their food, they should be aware of the best-before date and if it has already passed, they should leave it on the shelf and look for something fresher,” she says from Cambridge, Ont.

Some foods with a longer shelf life and that are critical to nutrition must carry expiry dates. These foods include meal replacements, nutritional supplements, infant formulas and formulated liquid diets, which should not be consumed after the date on the label has passed, Mattison says from Ottawa.

“That’s absolutely critical for those products because they may be all the food people are ingesting.”

Here are some other answers to common questions about the freshness of food products:

1. Does opening a product affect the best-before or expiry date?

Some foods show a best-before date even if they are not required to do so, but these dates tell you about the freshness and shelf life of “unopened food,” so once a product is opened, there’s no guarantee it will have the same flavour, texture or nutritional value. “Consumers need to know once they’ve opened a carton of yogurt, and taken that seal off, that best-before or expiry date is no longer in effect,” says Watson.

2. What’s the significance of an expiry date on food?

The expiration date is the date up to which the food maintains its microbiological and physical stability, and the nutrient content declared on the label. That means it’s important to use that food before the expiry date to get the most nutritional value from it.

3. What if a food looks or smells OK, but has passed its best-before or expiry date?

Even after a best-before or expiry date has lapsed, a food may smell or taste fine, but that can be dangerous, warns Health Canada. When a best-before date has expired, “use your judgment. When in doubt, throw it out,” says Health Canada. “When an expiration date has passed, there is no doubt, throw it out.”

4. Does keeping food cold or freezing it extend its best-before date?

Foods should be refrigerated within two hours of purchase (sometimes sooner) for a best-before date to be valid. The Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety says refrigeration slows down but does not stop bacterial growth, so food can still go bad. Some food can be frozen to keep beyond its best-before date, but how long it can be safely frozen depends on the type of food and its ingredients. Consumers can also contact manufacturers for information about freezing and storing their products.

5. Do foods in other countries have the same warnings about when they may go bad?

What is Expiration Date (Expiry)?

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What is Expiration Date (Expiry)?

Options do not last forever. They expire or terminate; they all have an ending date.

Options are tied to an underlying futures product and all futures products have a settlement date. If the futures contract no longer exists, then clearly an option on that contract can no longer exist either.

When do options expire?

When it comes to options on futures, there may be a variety of option expiration dates you could trade for the same futures contract.

You may find some option expirations align with the expiration of the underlying futures contract. In other cases a futures product could have a variety of shorter term options listed. These shorter term options offer traders greater precision and flexibility to expand their trading strategies.

Expiration Examples

Assume the E-mini S&P 500® futures contract (ES) has a settlement date in June.

Quarterly Options

Quarterly options contracts are offered on the E-mini S&P 500® futures contract. In this case the June quarterly option contract would expire at the same time as the futures contract.

Monthly Options

Monthly contracts are also offered for the same futures product. With a monthly option contract you can express a short term opinion on this longer dated futures contract.

For each listed month, such as May and April, you can trade an option that will expire within a month and settles into the same June ES futures contract.

Weekly Options

If your time horizon is even shorter, there are weekly options on the E-mini S&P 500 futures contract.

A rolling list of five weekly options that expire each Friday is offered on most products. After each weekly front-end contract expires, another back-end weekly is listed.

Physically Delivered Commodity Options

When it comes to physically-delivered commodities, option expirations will expire prior to the futures settlement. This happens so that traders have an opportunity to mitigate delivery of the physical product.

For example, when WTI Crude Oil futures settle in June, the WTI option will have a May expiration date. If the option is exercised into the active futures contract, the trader has time to adjust their futures position to either offset the position or make plans to take delivery.


Options can have a variety of option expiration dates, giving you the flexibility to find a product that meets your trading needs.

Expiry or expiration?

Do these 2 sentences have particular reasons? Could we use both?

A. Not less than 30 days of the expiration.

B. Not less than 30 days of the expiry date.

3 Answers 3

Expiry and expiration are synonyms that can be used interchangeably: (from TFD)

  • a coming to an end of a contract period; “the expiry of his driver’s license”, the expiration of a contract; termination.

NGram – AmE: expiry date vs expiration date

Ngram shows that ‘expiration’ is the term more used in AmE while in BrE both terms are used, though ‘expiry’ appears to be more prevalent.

(UK) Check the expiry date on your passport.

( US) Check the expiration date on your passport.

  • not less than 30 days before expiry/expiration (date).

A. Not less than 30 days of the expiration.

B. Not less than 30 days of the expiry date.

Those two fragments are ungrammatical. When using “of the expiration” we cannot use “not less than”.

*Not less than 30 days of the expiration [UNGRAMMATICAL]

At least 30 days from expiration|expiry OK

No more than 30 days from expiration|expiry OK

Within 30 days of expiration|expiry OK

We could talk about the date of expiration, as’expiration’ is the noun version of the word. The word ‘investigation’ is a noun, also: ‘the cost of the investigation was very high’ ‘There was a complication’, etc. when you look at ‘expiry date’, ‘date’ is the noun, and ‘expiry’ is the adjective that relates to the noun; start date, renewal date, etc. I would say, however, that it would be necessary to say ‘The expiration DATE OF THE (product,etc.), as there has to be the expiration OF something. Also, the use of ‘of’ is not the best here; l would say ’30 days BEFORE/ FROM/AFTER the expiry date/date of expiration’. The thing is to use a preposition that works with a point in time/date. Hope this helps.

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