The Richmond Food Bank has adopted Food Banks Canada’s Guidelines for Distributing Food Past the Best Before Date.

In general, this means that our clients may receive certain food products that are past the best before date identified by the manufacturer. For all canned foods, these items may be distributed up to one year past the best before date identified on the manufacturer’s packaging.

Best before dates are provided by manufacturers as an assurance of the best quality. This is not an indicator of food safety. We will continue to check all food for any indication of spoilage.

Items that have an expiry date (this is different than a best before date), such as infant formula, baby food, and nutritional supplements/meal replacements, will NOT be distributed past this date. 

Our volunteers use the following chart to determine when products may be distributed.

Food itemCanned/JarredBoxed/Bagged
Fruit and vegetables1 yearn/a
Meat1 yearn/a
Soups/stews1 year1 year
Condiments1 year6 months
Grains and cerealsn/a6-12 months
Milk (powdered/canned)1 year 
Milk (tetra-pack)n/a6 months
Other products1 year6 months

For more information on best before dates versus expiry dates, read this post from May 21, 2019 on the Food Banks Canada website.

Last Updated on December 10, 2022