Food policy expert says new labels should reduce food waste

Read the full story at Phys.org.

Pop quiz: What’s the difference between “best by,” “sell by” or “expires on”?

If you’re not sure, you aren’t alone. Americans toss out $165 billion worth of each year, often out of safety concerns fueled by confusion about the meaning of the more than 10 different date labels used on packages.

Grocery manufacturers and retailers are finally taking pity. Recently, the Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association announced they would voluntarily streamline date labels and begin using two standard phrases: “best if used by” for quality and “use by” for highly perishable items like meat, fish and cheese that can be dangerous to eat if they are too old.

Food manufacturers will begin phasing in the change now, with widespread adoption expected by summer 2018.

Food policy experts from across the University of California praised the new guidelines, calling them a positive step that could help consumers and the environment.

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