However, manufacturers have the responsibility to determine shelf life for products as part of their responsibility to substantiate product safety.Expiration dates are required for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.However for OTC drugs without dosage limitations (e.g., antiperspirants, antidandruff shampoos, toothpastes, sunscreens, etc.), OTC drug regulations (21 CFR 211.137) do not require an expiration date provided that these products have demonstrated at least 3 years of stability.In Europe, cosmetic products with a lifespan longer than 30 months must show a "period after opening" (POA) time."One of the worst places to store them," Goldhammer offers, "is in the medicine cabinet, which can be hot and humid. Why do you think most companies sell them a month or at most three months ahead of time?
If a drug says the expiration date is 18 months hence, it means these three qualities can only be guaranteed that long, assuming the drug is stored properly.It is important to note that a best-before date is not the same as an expiration date."Packaged on" dates are similar to "best-before" date but are used on retail-packed foods with a durable life date of 90 days or less, and must be accompanied by durable life information either on the label or on a poster next to the food.You open the fridge, drag out the cottage cheese, check for fur, and if there isn't any, you say, "Honey? " This is not, however, the approved method of checking for freshness.The approved way lies in a voluntary system of labeling. The only items required by federal law to be labeled for expiration are infant formula and some baby foods; some states also mandate pulling dairy from store shelves on the expiration date. The actual term "Expiration Date" refers to the last date a food should be eaten or used. Other, more commonly spotted terms are: The FDA does require that drugs carry an expiration date.