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What foods need to be date marked and why?

The Missouri Food Code section 3-501.17 addresses the date marking requirements for ready to eat foods in retail food establishments. Only foods that are ready to eat must be dated, raw foods do not have to be dated. For a list of ready to eat foods that do not have to be dated, refer to 3-501.17. Refrigeration prevents food from becoming a hazard by slowing the growth of most microbes. The growth of some bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes is slowed but not stopped. Using the predicted growth of Listeria monocytogenes ready to eat foods may be kept at 41°F for a total of seven (7) days. If this brief explanation isn’t sufficient, contact your local health department.

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