Puzzle pieces with question and answer

A customer posted a question about dating our packaged products, we thought we’d share our response with you. 


“Why is there no Manufactured/Expiry date on the Packaged Pastries? I would like to know when the product was made to ensure it has not been sitting on the shelf for a week prior to purchase.”

Our answer is below:

There is a difference between ‘expiry date’, ‘manufactured date’ and ‘best before date’. Expiration dates are required only on certain foods that have strict compositional and nutritional specifications which might not be met after the expiration date.

A‘best before’ date gives the consumer a sense of the point in time up to which a product is optimally fresh, optimally tasty, and maintains its nutritional value. This applies to products with a durable life date of 90 days or less.

At Alima’s we do have some of our packaged products which have best-before dates, e.g. our loaves of bread. However at the moment we do not date our pastry products, eg. Pine-apple tarts, Cheese Rolls,Currant Rolls, Coconut rolls, and here is our reasoning.

We bake our pastry multiple times a day and sell almost all of it across the counter. There is no question of a best-before date in this regard as consumers understand that the pastry is freshly baked and purchase it as such. This is much like buying a box of donuts at Tim Horton’s.

For the benefit of display and quick consumer pickup, every day, as we bake pastry, we put a few out in packages on the display stand. This stand is refreshed many times a day. For this reason we did not see a ‘best before’ date as being applicable. However we shall check with the CFIA (Canadian Food InspectionAgency), and, if in this situation it is a requirement, or, if we feel that some customers will be reassured, then we shall start putting best-before dates on the pastry.

Please understand though, that a best-before date in any establishment is no guarantee of freshness of a product. The integrity of the merchant and the collective experience of their customers is the best guarantee of the goodness of items.Why? Because if a merchant is not ethical, they can easily change dates, change packaging etc. and the consumer will not know a thing. This takes place in some establishments and it is only the good sense of the consumer that picks up this type of behavior.

At Alima’s we guarantee freshness and can demonstrate to any customer willing to stay with us for a few hours, the fact that we bake our pastry multiple times a day and that is goes very quickly.


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