Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America. 40 percent, 160 billion pounds of food in the U.S. goes uneaten every year.
91 percent of consumers occasionally throw food away based on the ‘sell by’ date out of a mistaken concern for food safety even though none of the date labels actually indicate food is unsafe to eat.
Chris Bernstein of the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said “products may have a ‘sell by’ date of, say, April 1, but they could be good in your pantry for another 12 or 18 months.
A lot of people mistakenly think there is some sort of government standard for ‘best by’ dates and that you have to throw out food once the date is passed. The truth is it’s the manufacturer who comes up with those dates, and much of the time the food is perfectly safe to eat well after the date has passed.
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