I've noticed letters after the expiration date on milk bag tags.

Product: Neilson Milk Bag
Location: Canada

Please see the photos below. Sometimes there are letters after the expiration date and sometimes not. You can see the letters C, E and F after the expiration date in the example tags.

What is the meaning of the letters after the expiration date?

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I've searched online and Canadian Food Inspection Agency website but couldn't find anything relevant.

I haven't noticed this in other products but the milk bag tags might be more noticeable. There are also extra numbers in some tags.

  • There is usually explanation on the package itself. It could be packaging plant/creamery identification. Numbers might be the line or milk source identification OR just internal number that help producer in case of recall. Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 7:58

1 Answer 1


I have found a website that should explain this: https://datecheckpro.com/2016/09/16/%E2%80%8Breading-food-expiration-date-codes-effectively/

This is what it says:

In coding, if letters are used to signify months, “A” will indicate January all the way to December ending with “L”. Next to these letters will typically be numbers indicating the day and the year. However, sometimes the numbered year will come before the letter. On the other hand, if numbers are used to signify the month, 1-9 will represent January to September, while the last three months will be assigned the first letter of their name, respectively (O for October, N for November, and D for December). Codes may also be comprised exclusively of numbers typically presented in the standard order of MMDDYY or YYMMDD (e.g., September 12, 2016 would be 091216 or 160912). Some codes also abide by the Julian calendar, which assigns a number to each day of the year from 1 to 365. In this case, September 12 would be 255.

  • Thank you for finding this information but it doesn't answer my question. In my examples, the months are already provided as in JN, JL, AU, MA, AL etc. so the tags don't require an extra coded month. Also, the month doesn't match with the code in the examples based on the system in your answer.
    – ermanen
    Commented Aug 19, 2020 at 18:27

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