Food Safety and Freshness

The Essentials Pack

All fresh food that is rescued by Food for Life is sorted and packed according to strict government guidelines for handling, storage and transport to ensure the safety of our neighbours accessing food.

In the current situation where we are packing bags of fresh food – our essentials pack – we have ensured the highest level in hygiene when preparing these bags; however, we still encourage you to follow best practices of:

  • Washing all fresh food thoroughly
  • Washing the tops of any cans before opening with soap and water
  • Cooking your food thoroughly
  • Washing and sanitizing your hands regularly

If you are receiving an essentials package it is intended to provide immediate support to you through this uncertain time and includes a combination of rescued, donated and purchased food – essential goods provided through collaborative efforts of charities, businesses and Halton Region to ensure basic needs in our community are met.

Food for Life continues to monitor the current situation and follows the recommendations of Public Health agencies.

Best Before Dates

The Best Before Date, also known as a durable life date, tells you when the durable life period of a prepackaged food ends.
Durable life means the anticipated amount of time that an unopened food product, when stored under appropriate
conditions, will retain its: freshness, taste, nutritional value, or any other qualities claimed by the manufacturer.

Developed by Food Banks Canada. This information is to be used as a guide only. It was developed based on general
knowledge, industry practices and the understanding that best before dates are about sensory quality. Canadian Food
Inspection Agency, Date Labelling on Pre-packaged Foods, Date Modified: 2013-07-07, Available at:
M.A. Freitas, J.C. Costa, Shelf life determination using sensory evaluation scores: A general Weibull modeling approach,
Computers & Industrial Engineering, Vol. 51, No. 4, 2006, pp. 652-670. A. Giménez, F. Ares, G. Ares, Sensory shelf-life estimation: A review of current methodological approaches, Food Research International, Vol. 49, No 1, 2012, pp. 311-325.
S. Guerra, C. Lagazio, L. Manzocco, et al., Risks and pitfalls of sensory data analysis for shelf life prediction: Data simulation
applied to the case of coffee, ‘Food Science and Technology, Vol. 41, No. 10, 2008, pp. 2070-2078. Utah State University
Cooperative Extension Service, Food Storage: Dried Milk, Available at: