Chapter 901:3-57 Perishable Foods
(A) "Quality assurance period" means the period of time following the completion of normal manufacturing, processing, and packaging procedures during which a food product subjected to normal conditions of exposure will maintain conformity with all of the characteristics normally associated with the food product and will provide the benefits for which the food product is normally purchased. Food product characteristics include, but are not limited to, taste, texture, smell, nutritional value, and reaction value with other food products if used as an ingredient with other food products.
(B) "Sale date" means the date by which the manufacturer, processor, or packager of a packaged food product recommends that the food product be sold for consumption based on the food product's quality assurance period.
(C) "Packaged perishable food product" means perishable food products packaged in consumer packages.
(D) "Perishable food product" means a food product, determined by the manufacturer to have a quality assurance period of thirty days or less.
(E) The term "commodity in package form" shall be construed to mean a commodity put up or packaged in any manner in advance of sale in units suitable for retail sale.
(F) A "consumer package" shall be construed to mean a commodity in package form that is customarily produced or distributed for sale through retail sales agencies or instrumentalities for consumption by individuals or use by individuals for the purposes of personal care or in the performance of services ordinarily rendered in or about the household or in connection with personal possessions.
(G) A "nonconsumer package" shall be construed to mean any commodity in package form other than a consumer package, and particularly a package intended solely for industrial or institutional use or for wholesale distribution.
The manufacturer, processor or packager shall determine which food products manufactured, processed or packaged shall be considered perishable.
(A) The manufacturer, processor or packager shall establish the sale date for perishable food products.
(B) Sale dates established by the original manufacturer, processor or packager shall not be increased by a repacker unless the product has been reprocessed in a manner which would enhance or lengthen the quality assurance period.
(A) No person shall knowingly sell a perishable food product in consumer size packages unless the package is clearly marked with a sale date by the packager. No other similarly stated date may appear on the package. However, nothing in this regulation shall prohibit a coded date, such as a Julian date, which may be required by federal law.
(B) The sale date markings shall be legible to the average consumer under normal conditions of purchase.
(C) Label declarations - the sale date may be indicated by appropriate descriptive terms such as "sell before," "sell by," etc. Terminology used to describe the sale date of a perishable food product shall be easily understood by the average consumer.
(D) Method of dating - the combination of words, numbers and/or abbreviations used to designate the sale date shall be easily understood by the average consumer. Words, numbers or abbreviations or a combination of words, numbers or abbreviations such as Nov. 23, 11-23, November 23, etc. are acceptable.
Bakery products with a sale date of less than seven days from the date of packaging may be dated with the days of the week or abbreviations of same in lieu of the foregoing requirements, as follows:
Sunday SU, SUN Thursday TH, THU, THUR
Monday MO, MON Friday FR, FRI
Tuesday TU, TUES Saturday SA, SAT
Wednesday WE, WED
(E) Location of "sale date" information - "sale date" information shall be located on the package in a manner traditionally established by the trade and recognized by the consumer.
The director is authorized to investigate complaints, to determine whether the sale date for food products as determined by the manufacturer, processor, or packager is false or misleading to consumers. If the director finds, upon reasonable cause, that the sale date as determined by the manufacturer, processor, or packager is false or misleading to the consumer, the director after reasonable notice and hearing, in accordance with Chapter 119 of the Revised Code, shall establish a sale date for said product.
The provisions of this regulation do not apply to:
(A) Fresh fruits or vegetables.
(B) Meat and meat products including poultry and poultry meat products whether packaged or unpackaged.
(C) Packaged perishable food products when sold or offered for sale at a place of business where less than one hundred thousand dollars of all products were sold during the preceding year.
(D) Food products in nonconsumer packages.
To ensure that a uniform system of determining the useful product life of perishable food products for sale within the state is established, persons complying with section 3715.171 of the Revised Code and the rules established pursuant thereto are exempt from any local ordinances or rules pertaining to the quality assurance period of food products or the manner in which the quality assurance period and perishability of food products are to be disclosed.
Whoever violates section 3715.171 of the Revised Code or regulations adopted thereunder is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.