Safe and Smart

Clarity for Expiration Dates on Food




SpeedKingz/Shutterstock.com

Many Americans have been confused by the “Sell By” labels on groceries for 40 years. Now, the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the two largest industry trade groups, are adopting voluntary standardized regulations to clarify. Instead of using up to 10 different phrases to communicate safety, they have settled on just two: “Use By”, a safety designation to indicate when perishable foods are no longer good; and “Best if Used By”, an estimate of when the manufacturer thinks the product should be consumed for peak flavor.

Studies show that consumers generally believe the current labels all signal whether a product is safe to eat, and that it will still be okay well after its so-called expiration date. At the same time, prematurely tossed groceries dominate landfills and produce greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and a coalition of environmental groups have been urging the industry to clear this up. The change is scheduled to take hold in July 2018.


This article appears in the June 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Mock Meats

Companies worldwide are racing to produce juicy plant-based protein alternatives that have the taste and feel of meat.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

When Angels Play Poker by Maura O’Leary

When Angels Play Poker is a story about the adventures in heaven when an ordinary couple go about their lives on Earth, while being watched over, prayed for and loved every day.

Waking Up

I’ve often felt that “I need to be hit in the head with a hammer” before waking up to a lesson that has, in retrospect, been blatantly staring me in the face for years. I’m happy that recently my best life education has come in the form of...

The Organic Mattress Releases New Non-Toxic Furniture Line

The Organic Mattress is launching a timely collection of upholstered furniture that uses all-natural and non-toxic ingredients and upholstery fabrics.

Stay Healthy on the Road with an Herbal Travel Kit

Travel can have a way of bringing up health concerns. Whatever the situation, there are herbal allies ready to help.

Online Silent Auction Fundraiser for Health Choice Massachusetts Nonprofit

Health Choice Massachusetts will hold an online auction fundraiser from November 1 through 7 to benefit the organization’s mission of advocating for patients’ rights.

New Look for Natural Awakenings Magazine

The new logo and cover design will appear in all editions starting this month.