Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Deciphering Date codes

I don't know what's wrong with simply using a common date formula, but most manufacturers have to put some code and few offer any explaination. The codes usually involve a Julian day of the year and one digit for the year i.e. 9 for 2009.  But not always. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason, so I'm going to gather what few I figure out.

Tires manufactured since 2000:  (You usually don't want tires older than 6 years)
Since 2000, the week and year the tire was produced has been provided by the last four digits of the Tire Identification Number with the 2 digits being used to identify the week immediately preceding the 2 digits used to identify the year.


DOT U2LL LMLR 5107 Manufactured during the 51st week of the year of 2007

Ocean Beauty, canner of many brands of canned salmon and other fish, actually explain their 2-line code on their website in an easily found place. On the other hand, they use several different code formats for canned and pouched seafood. The canned doesn't involve a Julian date while the 3 different formats for pouches do. I found some canned Sockeye salmon at Big Lots for a very cheap price but wanted to make sure it was good. 

The third digit in the first line designates the year that the product was canned. The first three digits of the bottom line designate the month and day it was packaged. For example: if the top line of a code is 265CR - the third digit (#5) means 2005; With 908A for the second line, the first 3 digits (#'s 908) mean September 8th; So here the production date is 9/08/05, making the shelf-life best through 9/08/11. 

The below is for Fruit of the Earth Aloe vera gel which I spotted at a dollar store.  I searched for a bit on their website with no luck, then wrote customer service for an explanation.  They also make aloe vera juice for which they use a completely different type of code.


123-this is our batch number.
023-this is the day of the year the product was manufactured –we use a Julian Calendar(January 23rd)
9-this is the year the product was manufactured (2009)

Our products have a three year shelf life. If you add three year to the manufacture date of January 23, 2009 then the product would expire on January 23, 2012.

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