Agri View: “Waste” Labeling

DanAgri View

Everett Griner talks about duration labeling not working in today’s Agri View.

“Waste” Labeling

Some people are still trying to find a way to judge what is best to put on a food label to reduce waste. “Sell by”, “Use by”, “Best if used by”. All the other caution notes on the label don’t seem to be working. One federal official engaged in finding the best warning told reporters that Americans still waste 30 to 40 percent of the food farmers produce. Americans waste more than any other country. So, is a warning on the food label likely to reduce that waste? Not at all. The reason for the waste is that Americans always buy more than they need. It happens at my house. I buy the smallest package of cheese I can find because some of the cheese I buy always molds. So I just stop buying cheese. But it is the same with other products for other people. That is why the waste isn’t likely to slow down.

That’s Agri View for today. I’m Everett Griner.

From: USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

Food Product Dating

“Best if Used By” is a type of date you might find on a meat, poultry, or egg product label. Are dates required on these food products? Does it mean the product will be unsafe to use after that date? Here is some background information answering these and other questions about product dating.

Date Labeling and Impact on Food Waste
Confusion over the meaning of dates applied to food products can result in consumers discarding wholesome food.

In an effort to reduce food waste, it is important that consumers understand that the dates applied to food are for quality and not for safety. Food products are safe to consume past the date on the label, and regardless of the date, consumers should evaluate the quality of the food product prior to its consumption.