Open dating is the practice of putting onto a product package information that reveals the date beyond which it should no longer be sold or used. This may also be referred to as the sell by, best by, or use by date.
This applies primarily to perishable products (i.e., those that lose some important attribute over time while awaiting sale in the channel between maker and user).
Open dating is common to certain industries (for example, dairy products and pharmaceuticals) and is sometimes mandated by law.
- ^ American Marketing Association, AMA Dictionary.