2019-06-03 FDA Rules on New Food Expiration Date Labels

Food expiration dates can be confusing, and the FDA aims to change that. Some food products have labels that say "Exp. Date" and some say "Sell Before, "Sell By," "Use By," "Best By," or "Use Before." To clear up the confusion, the FDA recently banned all of these labeling terms in favor of "Best If Used By." A big reason why the FDA cracked down on expiration terminology is that confusing dates and terms have contributed to the $161 billion worth of food wasted annually in the U.S., 20% of which comes from food waste at home. Consumers want to know when their food is no longer safe to eat, and if it's past its prime, they toss it. But it seems the old adage "when in doubt, throw it out" has contributed to a significant amount of perfectly good food being thrown away. Of course, predicting exactly when fresh or packaged food is no longer safe to eat can be extremely tricky. But the FDA is confident that the new "Best If Use By" label will clearly inform let consumers about the last day they should use any given product. Get the full story here.

food label

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