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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

FDA Working with the Food Industry to Reduce Confusion Over Date Labels

May 23, 2019 - from FDA:

Between the food industry and consumers, Americans are throwing out about a third of our food — approximately 133 billion pounds or $161 billion in food each year — according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Part of the problem is that date labeling on packaged foods isn’t user-friendly. It has been estimated that confusion over the multitude of different date labeling terms on food products accounts for about 20 percent of food waste in the home. “Use before,” “sell by” and “expires on” are just some of the terms used.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes that food waste is due, in part, to fears that consumers have about food safety. These concerns may often be caused by a misunderstanding of the meaning of the terms on product date labels.

To help reduce this confusion, the FDA issued a letter today to the food industry supporting the industry’s efforts to standardize voluntary date labeling if the date is simply used for quality — not safety. Standardizing date labeling can provide consumers with consistent information that is easy to understand and is recognizable.

The FDA strongly supports manufacturers’ use of the introductory phrase “Best If Used By” when they choose to apply a quality date label. Consumer research has shown that this phrasing helps consumers understand that the date label is about quality, not safety, and that products do not have to be discarded after the date if they are stored properly.

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