Here Comes A Major Change For Sell-By Dates On Food


Published:

Currently, food packages have more than 10 different date labels, which can confuse consumers and cause unnecessary food waste. These marks include Sell-By, Use By, Expires On, Best Before, Better if Used By, or Best By. Often, consumers assume these indicators represent the eat-by date, causing them to trash edible food. Two prominent food industry organizations—The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI)—want to simplify date labels in the United States to help customers.

“Eliminating confusion for consumers by using standard product date wording is a win-win because it means more products will be used instead of thrown away in error,” says Jack Jeffers, Vice President of Quality at Dean Foods, which led GMA’s work on this issue. “It’s much better that these products stay in the kitchen–and out of landfills.”

This voluntary initiative attempts to streamline date labels on consumer packaging down to just two standard phrases: Best If Used By or Use By. Best If Use By describes product quality, where the product may not taste or perform as expected but is safe to use or consume. Use By applies to the few products that have a food safety concern, such as meat and poultry. Consumers should eat these items by the date listed on the package.

Retailers and manufacturers are encouraged GMA and FMI to immediately begin implementing the standard phrases presented by GMA and FMI. The initiative calls for widespread adoption by the summer of 2018, so industry adoption will likely occur over time.

The initiative expands upon a December 2016 recommendation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that food manufacturers only use a “Best if Used By” date label. “To reduce food loss and waste, these changes will give consumers clear and consistent information when it comes to date labeling on the food they buy,” says Al Almanza, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. “This new guidance can help consumers save money and curb the amount of wholesome food going in the trash.”

Additionally, this initiative closely follows the findings of a 2013 report by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, The Dating Game: How Confusing Labels Land Billions of Pounds of Food in the Trash, which brought the issue into the spotlight for manufacturers and consumers. The NRDC also partnered with the Ad Council and launched a national public service campaign in 2016 called Save The Food that is designed to combat consumer food waste.

Another campaign advocating for food labeling changes is Think.Eat.Save, a collaboration founded by Save Food as a joint initiative between U.N. Environmental Program (UNEP), the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Messe Düsseldorf. It provides consumers, retailers, and communities with advice on ways to reduce their food waste. In a 2014 report, Think.Eat.Save suggests that food date labels be improved to make it easier for households to use what they buy. and waste less food.

In 2016, experts at Harvard University, John Hopkins University, and the National Consumers League conducted a national survey on consumer perceptions of date labelss. Results showed that 84 percent of consumers occasionally throw out food based on date labels and 37 percent of the respondents always or usually do. In addition, 36 percent of participants wrongly answered that the American government regulates food date labels.

Joey DeMarco is a research and writing intern for Food Tank.

This article was republished from Food Tank.

See also:
19 Food Films To Inform And Inspire
Here Are 17 Food Heroes Leading Us To A Brighter Food Future

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

June 25, 2017

Home and family-centered activities are encouraged and supported by the Cancer Moon. With rousing Mars testing Jupiter and approaching a trine to Neptune, either a home beautification project or a day trip could be in the works. Many folks want to be out…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

June 2017

A one-day class facilitated by Reiki Shihan (Master-Teacher), Lou Orsan Reiki Level I is an introduction to the basic principles of traditional Usui Reiki. The skills learned are designed to...

Cost: $125

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

1 session remaining Explore ancient shamanic healing techniques in this safe, experiential workshop. Learn the basic, core technique of the shamanic journey, a visionary method used to...

Cost: $35 per session

Where:
Keene Unitarian Universalist Church
69 Washington Street
(and corner of Taylor Street)
Keene, NH
View map »


Sponsor: Cycles of Spirit Spiritualist Church & One Spirit Shamanic Arts
Contact Name: Jay Thomas
Website »

More information

HamletHub Whole New You Series Hearst Media Entertaining Conversations Series Member pre-sale begins Tuesday, May 2 at 10am Public sale Friday, May 5 at 10am After the show Tyler will do an...

Cost: $72.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Sue LaColla
Website »

More information

Sunday Reiki treatments with Reiki master and practitioner Linda Simons in Brookline, MA. Start your week off on a more balanced note with a Reiki treatment on a Sunday afternoon. Please join me...

Cost: Sliding Scale $20-$40

Where:
233 Harvard Street
Suite 36
Brookline, MA  02446
View map »


Telephone: 617-304-2205
Contact Name: LInda Simons
Website »

More information

You can sit with your favorite medium and get a message from your loved ones in spirit and experience the relaxation of Spiritual Healing with one of our trained healers (pets also welcome!) We...

Where:
Arlington Masonic Temple
19 Academy Street
Arlington, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Boston Church of Spiritualism
Telephone: 617-923-4334
Website »

More information

Prayer for Peace — Lao-Tse If there is to be peace in the world, There must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, There must be peace in the cities. If...

Cost: Donation / heart offering

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Qigong is an amazing practice for health, healing and inspiration. Qigong is a series of flowing and repeated movements, stretches and breathing exercises that are very easy to learn and may be...

Cost: Drop in $20 or purchase series card

Where:
The Yoga Depot
17 Depot Square
Lexington, MA  02420
View map »


Sponsor: BodyWork Revolution
Telephone: 781-372-1000
Contact Name: Steve Cunningham
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

6/27, 7/11, 7/18 and 7/25 Creative movement class for ages 3-6. ​Kids dance and yoga class that uses imagination, exploration and creative movements to discover how their body works. Helps...

Cost: $18 - $50

Where:
YOUnity Yoga & Wellness
189 Main Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Telephone: 508-478-3333
Contact Name: BJ Hickson
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Slow down and relax your mind and body while engaging in a variety of mindfulness activities.  Tarot Card Readings available to the first 6 people who register. Being mindful is one of...

Cost: $20/$25

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Website »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

A Reiki Share is a gathering of Reiki practitioners who congregate for a combination social/healing session. The primary purpose of having a "share" is for practitioners to participate in...

Cost: $10

Where:
Open Doors
395 Washington Street
Braintree, MA  02170
View map »


Sponsor: Leslie Miller Jewett
Telephone: (857) 526-3301
Contact Name: Leslie Miller Jewett
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wild Vibes will be kicking off the seacoast summer with their fourth annual Wild Vibes Yoga Festival on July 1st at Spring Hill in South Berwick. A festival focused on bringing people back to their...

Cost: $15 - $65

Where:
Spring Hill
117 Pond Rd
South Berwick, ME  03908
View map »


Contact Name: Magnolia Barrett
Website »

More information

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags