Food Label Changes Coming Soon
Changes in food labels are coming to help people stop wasting food.
30% of the food supply is wasted by food sellers and consumers and the main reasons for that is the confusing dates written on food products according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Federal regulations don’t require food to be dated (except for infant formula), but many food makers still put dates on their food to describe quality. They use a variety of phrases like “sell by” and “use by,” which can be misleading to consumers and cause people to throw out food that’s past its date, even though the food is still safe to eat.
New guidelines on how to label food products are urging food makers and retailers to date foods with the phrase “best if used by.” The Food Safety Inspection Service says it’s easier for people to understand that the date means quality of the food and not whether it’s safe to eat.
According to the USDA, an estimated 133 billion pounds of food (valued at about $161 billion) goes uneaten in people’s homes, food stores and restaurants in the United States every year.
The USDA has a goal of reducing the amount of wasted food in landfills by 50 percent by the year 2030.