ABSTRACT: A recent variation of expiration dating is freshness dating (i.e., “best if used by”). This research investigates how freshness dating influences the taste acceptance of a refrigerated product. Sensory tests of 36 panelists show two key findings. First, freshness dating influences the acceptability of products in a discontinuous or nonlinear manner. Second, it does so because it influences perceptions of freshness and of healthfulness, not of safety. As a product approaches its “best if used by” date, there may be more for a manufacturer to lose than to gain by having decided to use “freshness dating” in the first place.