The usually quoted rule of thumb is that chemical reactions double their rate for each temperature increase of 10 °C (18 °F) because activation energy barriers are more easily surmounted at higher temperatures.However, as with many rules of thumb, there are many caveats and exceptions.
Shelf life depends on the degradation mechanism of the specific product.
However, shelf life alone is not an accurate indicator of how long the food can safely be stored.
For example, pasteurized milk can remain fresh for five days after its sell-by date if it is refrigerated properly.
Shelf-life is not to be confused with service-life (defined as, A general term used to quantify the average or standard life expectancy of an item or equipment while in use.
When a shelf-life item is unpacked and introduced to mission requirements, installed into intended application, or merely left in storage, placed in pre-expended bins, or held as bench stock, shelf-life management stops and service life begins.) Shelf life is often specified in conjunction with a specific product, package, and distribution system.