Caviar shelf life
In Germany, two different time labels are used for the expiry of food. A distinction is made between the best-before date and the use-by date. After opening the package or can, the shelf life of the food is shortened. It is always necessary to store opened tins of caviar and salmon fillets in the refrigerator. Saffron can be stored outside the refrigerator in closed containers and should be protected from pests.
Standard value for the shelf life of our caviar: refrigerated and unopened, it can be kept for at least 6 weeks. However, as our caviar is always freshly packed, it may have a different shelf life depending on the variety. Please look at the specific imprint after receipt. After opening the tin, please refrigerate and consume as soon as possible.
Caviars date of minimum durability:
Products that are marked with a minimum durability date (MHD) can usually still be enjoyed directly after this date has expired. A date and a storage temperature are printed on the packaging. Until this date, the manufacturer guarantees that the product retains a consistent quality at the specified storage temperature and that the microbial condition of the product changes only slightly or is maintained without significant loss of taste or quality. After this date, the product must be checked to ensure that it is fit for consumption and, if necessary, discarded.
Even after the date has passed, all the senses can be used to check whether the product is still edible. If the cold chain has been maintained and there are no changes in colour or taste, the product can still be enjoyed.
A minimum durability date is printed on very many foods.
Caviars use-by date:
Caviar, fish, fish products such as Royal salmon fillets carry a use-by date. Until this date, the food can be eaten after inspection if the specified storage temperature has been maintained. After this date, the product should no longer be consumed as the microbial load may have increased thereafter. It is essential to maintain the specified refrigeration temperature of 4°C. Royal Caviar delivers its refrigerated food products in polystyrene boxes with ice accumulators. The contained goods should continue to be kept in the refrigerator immediately after receipt so as not to interrupt the cold chain.
For a very short period of 30 to 60 minutes, it is also possible to store the product subject to refrigeration up to 3 °C higher. For example, salmon may be transported to its destination at 7 °C for a short time, but must then be immediately stored again at the correct temperature in the refrigerator.
The food must be disposed of after the consumption date in order to exclude any health risk.
Country of origin and variety
Our caviar is not sold sorted by country of origin, but named according to quality level. This allows for excellent quality throughout the year. Examples of possible countries of origin are Russia, China, Italy and Spain. Specifically, you can look this up on the imprint after receipt. The country can be easily decoded from the CITES label using 2 letters. You will find more information in the next section. We also sort similar sturgeon varieties according to quality level. For Royal Premium, for example, only the best breeding sturgeon from crosses of the Beluga and the Ossietra sturgeon are currently used for production (aquaculture). All our current caviars are mild and low-salt, i.e. of the Malossol type.
All labels affixed must not be transferred to any other container in order to guarantee the unambiguous traceability of the respective can. For this reason, the labels cannot be removed from the can without damage or destruction.
Reading the label
An oblong label is printed on the top of the caviar tins. With this code, the caviar in each tin is precisely traceable back to the production site in the country of origin. The first three letters indicate the code for the 27 listed sturgeon species. At Royal Caviar, however, we only use 11 of all possible species for our sales in order to select only the best eggs for you. You can find the code in the following table:
Extract of the fish we use:
- BAE: Acipenser baerii
- GUE: Acipencer gueldenstaedtii
- NAC: Acipencer naccarii
- PER: Acipencer persicus
- RUT: Acipencer ruthenus
- SCH: Acipenser schrencki
- STE: Acipencer stellatus
- TRA: Acipencer transmontanus
- DAU: Huso dauricus
- HUS: Huso huso
- Hybride: Code für die Art des männlichen Elternteils x Code für die Art des weiblichen Elternteils YYYxXXX z.B. DAUxSCH
Place of origin
Next, the place of origin is coded. Here, W stands for a wild collection (W), C for animals raised in captivity and F for animals born in captivity but with a parent animal taken from the wild. We only offer farmed caviar with the code C.
Country of origin
This is followed by the ISO country code of the country from which the caviar was imported.
Year of manufacture and operation
The subsequent combination of numbers indicates the year of packaging, e.g. 2016. The number of the processing plant, in our case Royal Caviar with “DE-R18”, is the penultimate code.
Finally, the internal LOT number of the Royal Caviar company can be read out, which enables a clear assignment of the batch sold. In this way, the traceability back to the fish is ensured in a complete log.