Congressional legislation introduced on Wednesday aims to help consumers understand if their food is safe to eat.
According to the Washington Post, the legislation is known as the Food Date Labeling Act and was introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, and Representative Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from Maine. The Food Date Labeling Act proposes standardized language for retail packaging. “Best if used by” will indicate peak quality for shelf-stable foods, and “expires on” for riskier foods like raw meat, fish, and eggs. Previously, retail language wasn’t specified on a national level, leaving states to develop their own label regulations, which were sometimes confusing. Some labels were meant to indicate when food could no longer be safely eaten, and some when food may experience a taste change, but was still edible. Consumer confusion led to throwing out food which may have still been safe to eat. If the bill passes, companies would have two years to comply with the requirements.