For 40 years, the grocery store industry has been using multiple sell by date labels on food.
However, the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Assn. have revealed a new strategy that is set to take place. Instead of choosing from 10 different sell by date labels, there will only be two choices: “Use by” and “Best if Used By.”
These two labels will give people a better idea of when food is good by and prevent an astronomical amount of waste.
A survey found that 91% of people have thrown away ‘past-date’ food, even though it was still perfectly edible. The amount of unnecessary waste causes Americans to lose money and also overcrowd landfills.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans waste $218 billion of food each year, but can save $1.8 billion with clarified date labels.
“Use by” is simply a ‘safety designation’ regarding the expiration of perishable foods while “Best if Used By” is a guess of when a product should be consumed for best flavor.
Although the regulation is completely voluntary, big name stores like Wal-Mart have voiced their excitement. Manufacturers that decide to take on the food packaging label regulation have until July 2018 to put it into place.
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