What is an Expiry Date?

Definition: An expiry date, or expiration date, is the date a producer lists on products to inform consumers of the last day the product will be safe to consume. It also shows the shelf life expectancy of a product or the date on which a product can no longer used.

What Does Expiry Date Mean?

What is the definition of expiry date? Expiration dates are not limited to edible products only. Credit and debit cards are also marked with exp dates.

Expiry dates are sometimes confused with best-before dates, but there is a definite distinction. Best-before dates inform consumers how long a product should be expected to stay fresh and may still be consumed even after that date has passed. Products with expiration dates are not to be consumed on or after the stated date.

Businesses use best-before dates to guarantee freshness and use exp. dates to communicate to consumers when last a product can no longer be used. These dates are required on products to meet consumer protection standards worldwide.

Let’s look at an example.


Hood; a producer of milk, frozen desserts, and non-dairy products; lists expiration dates on all of its products to inform consumers when last their products can be safely consumed. Nestle is known for producing a wide range of consumable products for both adults and babies. Nestle’s Cerelac, a cereal formulated for babies, has its date at the bottom of its tin.

Payment cards issued by banks and financial institutions also have these dates imprinted on them. These dates indicate when the card will no longer be accepted by merchants, point of sale terminals, and or automatic teller machines for payments and withdrawals.

Most contractual agreements also have dates of expiration. This tells the parties when the terms of the contract will no longer be valid.

Identification cards and passports also have dates of expiration, representing when the IDs will no longer be valid for intended purpose.

Summary Definition

Define Expiration Dates: Expiry date means a marking on a product showing the date at which the product will no longer be safe to consume or will no longer be offered.