A Quick Guide on Manufacturing and Expiration Dates

Image of Bottle showing Lot and Expiration Numbers

As of this writing, there is no standard system for food dating in the country, yet. While the FDA requires drug applicants to provide stability testing data which includes the proposed expiration date and storage conditions when they submit for application1, manufacturers in the food industry are not required by the Federal Law to place quality-based date labels on their consumable products, except for infant formula.According to the USDA, there are food products that are still safe to consume even if these have passed the date on the label – as long as it’s handled properly until the time that the spoilage is evident.3

So, how do we exactly know when the products expire? How about health supplements? Do vitamins expire or go bad? How long are vitamins good after the expiration date? Can gummy vitamins expire? And what happens if vitamins expire?

To clarify all these questions, here’s a quick guide on manufacturing and expiration dates.

What is Food Product Dating?

Basically, the main purpose of product dating is to inform consumers of the safety and suitability to consume a particular food product – be it health supplements, custom gummies, vitamins, and the like. It is a key indicator for basic food safety.

Product labels usually follow either of the two types of product dating: open dating and closed dating. “Open dating” refers to the calendar date applied to a food product by the manufacturer. This kind of label will tell the consumer the estimated period of time when the product is still of the best quality. On the other hand, “Closed dating” pertains to the code that consists of a series of letters and numbers applied by the manufacturers to inform consumers of the date and time of production.

What’s the difference between Expiration Date, Manufacturing Date, and Best Before Date?

In their efforts to inform consumers of the shelf life of the products they manufactured, most companies apply date labels that tell until when the food product can retain its quality and flavor. Hence, the use of the standard phrase “Best Before”. Other common phrases used among labels include:

  • Expiration date

This refers to the last date when a product should be ingested given that it is properly stored and handles

  • Manufacturing date

In compliance with the set standards by the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), manufacturers are encouraged to print on the label the date when the product was manufactured. Aside from the expiration date, this easily helps the consumer know how long the product has been out in the market.

Do vitamins and gummies expire?

The shelf life of most supplements actually depends on its form, contents (as some vitamins may break down quicker than the others), and how it was manufactured and stored. While this needs further studies, what is clear is that like many other food products, the quality and potency of these supplements may change over time.

When indicated on the label, it is best to dispose of expired vitamins and supplements and just purchase the newly manufactured ones. Also, don’t forget to ask for advice from your health professional when taking these vitamins and gummies to avoid complications, most especially if you are under medications.

Need help with manufacturing and labeling?

All products manufactured by The Omnium Group are compliant with the GMP standards to ensure product quality and safety. We utilize high-speed equipment and new packaging technology in the counting, filling, capping, and sealing of our vitamins, gummies, CBD products, cosmetics, beverages, and other health supplements.

If you are looking for a vitamins or gummies manufacturer in Riverside or San Bernardino, California, or Southern California that can help you with the formulation and labeling of your products, don’t hesitate to contact us here. Our team of experts would be happy to help you make the best choices for your brand – from formulation to packaging and design.

Let’s take a step forward to the realization of your business dreams!


1 Expiration Dates – Question and Answers (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/pharmaceutical-quality-resources/expiration-dates-questions-and-answers)

2 Food Facts: How to Cut Food Waste and Maintain Food Safety (https://www.fda.gov/media/101389/download#:~:text=FDA%20supports%20efforts%20by%20the,Best%20if%20used%20by%E2%80%9D%20date.)

3 Food Product Dating (https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/food-product-dating)

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