In a restaurant at the receiving step or the retail food store as a consumer, “Sell by July 14” is a type of information you might find on a meat or poultry product. Does it mean the product will be unsafe to use after that date?
Here is some background information, which answers these and other questions about food product dating.
Date marking is required to control the growth of bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes that grows at refrigerated temperatures.
You can open and operate this low-cost start-up business from home, if you have a private home office where you can meet with potential clients to discuss their dating needs and preferences. Research the dating industry to get an idea of the types of services and products these businesses offer to people who are navigating the dating scene.Discover why people date, whether it’s to have fun, enjoy new experiences, make friends, find love or get married. Figure out what your target market is and whether you’ll focus on a specific niche within the dating services industry.If a calendar date is shown, immediately adjacent to the date must be a phrase explaining the meaning of that date such as “sell by” or “use before.” Believe it or not, there is no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating in the United States.Although dating of some foods is required by more than 20 states, there are areas of the country where much of the food supply has some type of open date and other areas where almost no food is dated. Open dating is found primarily on perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products.Find out what services they offer, where they advertise and their approach to attracting clients. You might offer matchmaking, provide date night ideas, give coaching on what do and what not do on a first date, assist clients with selecting body-appropriate wardrobes or host speed dating events.
Come up with ways to differentiate yourself, whether through pricing, offering varied services or creating an exciting personality for your dating services business. Assign a cost to each service you provide; whether you charge per hour or per service, having pricing guidelines is essential. Use your research to come up with a clever, attention-grabbing name for your dating services business.You may elect to help recent college graduates find dates with other recent graduates, your business could help women over 50 find dates or you may set up a dating service that targets professional men who own their own businesses.By selecting a niche, or clearly identifying your market, you’ll be able to better target your advertising efforts to recruit clients. Research your local market to see if there are other dating services that target a similar market.If foods are mishandled, foodborne bacteria can grow and cause foodborne illness — before or after the date on the package.If perishable food is in the “danger zone” (above 41° F or below 135° F), for four hours or more, discard it.Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to find out if there are special licenses or permits you need before you open your dating services business.