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Do I really need to follow the expiration date?

by Linda Leuffgen, RD

It’s now 2015 and you see those expiration dates creeping up.

“Is expired product still safe to use?”

We get this question a lot. Our advice is not to use a medical food or low protein food product past its’ date of expiration. Let me explain why as a lot of factors go into determining an expiration date for all food; not just for Nutricia products.

First is the reliability of the packaging materials. We need to make sure the product inside that packaging is safe until the expiration date. Second is the stability of the ingredients in the product. For example, some fats go bad faster than others. We want to ensure the product you consume is fresh which is indicated by the use by date.

Another determination for expiration dates is to ensure the nutrients in the product are true to the levels marked on their label. Nutrients, especially vitamins, have a tendency to naturally break down over time; some faster than others. It is extremely important that the right amount of each nutrient is in the product since these formulas tend to make up more than 50% of your nutritional needs. We conduct extensive testing under a number of conditions to ensure that the nutrients hold up until the date of expiration.

Nutricia’s goal is to bring you the best nutritional products possible. The intent of an expiration date is to keep our consumers safe and ensure they receive the nutrition they need. Again, we cannot recommend using any of our products past their date of expiration. We suggest discussing this further with your healthcare professional if you have expired product at home and require further questions.