Interpreting NJFC Can Codes for “Best-By” Dates

Interpreting NJFC Can Codes for “Best-By” Dates

"What's my 'best by' date?"

Having trouble figuring out the “best by” date on an NJFC canned product? If you answered “yes” (we’re sorry for the inconvenience!) you’ve landed on the right webpage.

We use the Julian date calendar system to mark the pack dates of all of our products. In this post we’re going to show you how easy it is to interpret Julian date can codes so you too can determine “best by” dates and enjoy all of our fresh-packed products with confidence.

Let’s get started!

1. Get the Julian date calendar

According to the history books, the Julian Date Calendar was first invented around 40 BC by its namesake Julius Cesar. He was trying to align the solar calendar with the civic calendar, which was understandably a great challenge. Eventually Cesar, his gang, and the generations that followed perfected it into what we use today.

2. Locate your can's Julian date

To find the Julian date on your canned product, first locate the series of numbers and letters stamped on the top or bottom of the can.  Next, locate the 8-digit letter/number sequence. The last 5 numbers in that sequence will be your Julian date calendar code.

In the example photo provided, the numbers are “24820.” The first three numbers identify the month and day, and the last 2 numbers identify the year this product was canned. 

(Please note: For some products, the 8-digit sequence will include hyphens, e.g. “L80-248-20”. In either case, the Julian date is the last 5 digits).

3. Convert Julian date to
"best by" date

As you can see in the example photo to the left, Julian date “248” aligns horizontally and vertically with the date, September 5th. This is the month and day this can was packed. The “20” simply represents the year this can was packed, 2020. Now we know this product was packed on September 5, 2020.

All of our products have an official shelf life of 36 months. So, the can in this example has a “best by” date of September 5, 2023.

We hope this helps! For further assistance, please send us an email via our Contact Form, or call us at 800-291-3862.