Safe and Smart

Clarity for Expiration Dates on Food




SpeedKingz/Shutterstock.com

Many Americans have been confused by the “Sell By” labels on groceries for 40 years. Now, the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the two largest industry trade groups, are adopting voluntary standardized regulations to clarify. Instead of using up to 10 different phrases to communicate safety, they have settled on just two: “Use By”, a safety designation to indicate when perishable foods are no longer good; and “Best if Used By”, an estimate of when the manufacturer thinks the product should be consumed for peak flavor.

Studies show that consumers generally believe the current labels all signal whether a product is safe to eat, and that it will still be okay well after its so-called expiration date. At the same time, prematurely tossed groceries dominate landfills and produce greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and a coalition of environmental groups have been urging the industry to clear this up. The change is scheduled to take hold in July 2018.


This article appears in the June 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Mock Meats

Companies worldwide are racing to produce juicy plant-based protein alternatives that have the taste and feel of meat.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

New Eye Wellness Clinic Opening in Evanston

Optometrist Dr. Deana LaBrosse offers medical and routine eye care using an integrative approach. The new clinic features a Dry Eye Center, natural eye care products and full optical services.

CALM Skin Care Makes ‘House Calls’

The new CALM SPA offers all-natural facials in hospital rooms and other select locations to those in need of soothing and pampering during tough and joyful times.

Green Metropolis Fair Celebrates Earth Month

The fourth annual Green Metropolis Fair will bring the local conscious community together to celebrate Earth Month.

The Wheel of Co-Creation New Ways of Being in the World in a Vast Movement for Positive Change

In the new paradigm, prevention is paramount, and when faced with illness, the goal becomes a comprehensive approach to attend to all aspects of personal wellness. We recognize and include the pioneering holistic, allopathic, alternative and complementary approaches, as well as traditional methods.

Everyone Gets Manic for Annual Vegan Festival

The eighth annual Chicago VeganMania, a daylong celebration of vegan culture, commerce, community, cuisine and couture, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., October 1st.

Learn About Angels with Denise Sutherland

The Feng Shui School of Chicago presents a program, Communicate with Your Angels, with Denise Sutherland.