Fighting over date labels

Almost 6 in 10 Americans report having household discussions about the meaning of food date labels, and 4 in 10 say they’ve had disagreements about whether to keep a food product or throw it away, according to a new poll from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Food Policy Action Network.

Earlier this year, the GMA along with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) spearheaded an initiative to standardized date labeling. Their goal is to consolidate the currently more than 10 different labels found on food packages down to just two:

  • BEST If Used By to describe product quality
  • USE By to describe food safety

This change will have many positive benefits, GMA and FMI assert. For example, Meghan Stasz, the senior director of sustainability for GMA, commented: “Clarity on product date labeling will reduce confusion, cut food waste, and enable households to spend their time arguing about something other than what a date label means, like sports, politics, or what channel to watch on TV.”

(Time to throw away the yogurt, honey. Now give me the remote!)

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