Here is one of Hormel's codes. Their packing code is a letter followed by five numbers. The letter is their plant location and the numbers are the dating code in a MM-DD-Y format.
- Example: A code of G07048 decodes to mean:
- G = plant location
07 = July
04 = The fourth day of the month
8 = 1998
The can was packed July 4, 1998 at plant location G. There is also a closed dating code used by some food manufacturers. In spite of the fact that increasing numbers of food processing companies are moving to open dating it is not yet universal. For those products that do not come with a plain "best used by" date it is still possible, albeit with much more difficulty, to determine the rotation period for that specific product. For processors to move their products in interstate commerce it must exhibit a packing code. This allows them to easily track their product for purposes of stock rotation and in the event of a recall.
These packing codes are usually a series of letters and numbers that indicate dates, times, and sometimes places of manufacture. These dates are not "use by" dates, but the time the container was actually filled. As they are not really intended for general public knowledge these codes are frequently unique to a particular processor and are not commonly published by them. Some processors use a system where all the days of the year are listed 1-365 (366 for leap year) as the first three digits in the code. This number is then followed by a single letter such as "B" and then by a single digit that represents the year.
- Some Examples of this might be:
- Packing code Date packed
045B97 February 14, 1997
101H98 May 1, 1998
134K96 July 4, 1996
252U98 October 31, 1998
Offered by Jon.