Neocate Expiration Date: Does the Expiration Date Really Matter?

Neocate Formula Expiration dates

Neocate expiration date, questions answered. I am generally a thrifty person. I might as well get the most enjoyment and use out of the things I have. My philosophy in life is “you can always use more money than you have, no matter what through savings.”

When I find something that is nearing or just past, its expiration date the question “Does this expiration date matter?” passes through my mind. I know many of you have the same thoughts and issues when it comes to Neocate. I get this question by phone or email us almost every week. And this makes sense to me. I know Neocate is likely an essential part of your or your little ones’ nutrition, and often the only nutrition or the only thing that works. And it is an important question.

Let me take a few minutes to answer those questions I often hear from parents just like you to help give you a better understanding. 

What Does the Expiration Date Mean?

The expiration date on any product is intended to be the last date when the product should be used. Many times you will see this noted as the expiration date, as it is on the bottom of your Neocate cans with “EXP” followed by a calendar date, or as the “use before” and “best before” date as it is noted at the top of our Neocate Splash drink boxes. 

Expiration dates are not federally required. Infant formula is one of the only items needed to have a “use by” date according to FDA regulations. When a date is included, it is required to have a full calendar date including the month, day, and year according to the FDA. Some states do have requirements for dating of foods, although those requirements would be unique to that particular state. 

How Are expiration dates determined?

Here at Neocate, we put customer safety first. We want to ensure your loved ones receive the nutrition they need to grow and thrive when living with food allergies and related conditions. We keep this in mind when determining the expiration date for Neocate, and test our Neocate over the shelf life under a variety of conditions to determine the expiration dates for all of our Neocate products, not just our infant formulas. 

  1. The nutrients in the product should meet the nutrient levels on the label throughout the shelf life.

    This shelf life is probably the most critical factor. Some nutrients, particularly vitamins, naturally break down over time. Because many individuals use Neocate to provide all or most of their nutrition, the nutrients in the product must meet the levels indicated on the label. To define the amount of Neocate formula you should use, your health care team considers all the information above mentioned. We, Neocate, conduct testing under several conditions to ensure the nutrients will hold up throughout shelf life and through the expiration date.
  2. The packaging should protect the product throughout the shelf life.

    The packaging is considered when Nutricia determines the expiration date. The durability of the packaging materials should protect the quality of the product over the recommended shelf life. We want to ensure that the cans or drink boxes remain sealed and keep the Neocate inside safe until the expiration date.

  3. The product quality should be useful throughout shelf life.

    Neocate quality is also an essential factor. Many ingredients naturally break down over time, some faster than others. This breakdown can affect the look, smell, and taste of the product. As you may know, taste and smell are particularly crucial to some little ones. For that reason, we regularly test Neocate products to ensure the quality maintains through the expiration date.

How Do I Know if My Neocate is Expired?

This question about expiration is a question that I get quite often. With all of the information printed on Neocate products, it is not surprising that many of you wonder this. The expiration date is at the bottom of every can of Neocate. The expiration date is specified in detail, including day, month and year following: “EXP.”

The date of manufacture, which is a full calendar date preceded by “MFD” or “MAN” is printed on the can.  The expiration date is printed on the outside of every Neocate case.

On Neocate Splash drink boxes you will find the expiration date noted on the top of each drink box. The information on the can indicates the “use before” and “best before” times. You may also notice that we list the date as a full calendar date with month, day, and year all included. The expiration date is on the outside of every case of 27 Neocate Splash drink boxes.

What Happens If I Use My Neocate After the Expiration Date?

We do not test what will happen if someone takes Neocate after the expiration date. The Neocate team considers a large number of factors to define the expiration date. The team does not test for this, as we put you and your loved one’s safety first here at Neocate, so we avoid you taking the expired product.

We cannot recommend or advise using any of our products past the expiration date, even if it’s the day after. If you’re considering using Neocate past the expiration date, we suggest asking your healthcare team for their advice or direction. Share the information in this post with them, so they understand how we set expiration dates. That information can help them discuss the decision with you.

What questions do you have about Neocate & expiration dates? Let us know in the comments below so we can answer your questions.

-Kristin Crosby

Last updated July 23, 2018

Published: 12/17/2016
Rob McCandlish
Hi Kristen, we're not aware of any reports of harm when infants consume recently expired formula. When we hear from parents they've often accidentally used recently expired formula for a few days, or want to know about using recently expired formula just until they can get fresh formula. You're right, we can't recommend it, but it seems unlikely that recently expired formula would make an infant physically ill (like vomiting or diarrhea). Since formula is often the only source of nutrition for infants, it’s very important the nutrients are precise. That's why taking formula with too-low levels of nutrients for a long period of time poses a risk. Hope this answers your question!
While I realize that you do not recommend, nor do you test the effects of giving an expired product, if Neocate Infant DHA/ARA was consumed for a couple days before realizing it was expired, has anything been reported as to what has happened to little ones? Can it cause actual harm? Or is it just not recommended because the nutrients degrade?
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