No one wants to buy food that is going to expire before they have time to consume it. No distributer wants to buy food that’s going to expire before they have time to sell it. Similarly, no manufacturer can use or sell inventory that is out of specification due to aging. That is why many food manufacturers have both a shelf life date and an expiration date which must be managed carefully during inventory and production planning. Unfortunately, keeping track of expiration date and shelf lives of intermediates and finished products is complicated, especially in a dynamic environment with frequent schedule changes.