Saturday, May 21, 2016


There are no federal standards for expiration dates, except for baby formula, and best-by or sell-by date have no basis in science —they’re a manufacturer’s best guess for when the food is likely to be freshest or at peak quality. Some food products could last a year or a year and a half past their “sell by” date. Because many American consumers don’t know that they throw out a lot of perfectly good food. Recent surveys of over 1,000 American consumers found that one-third believe expiration labels are federally regulated. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has introduced legislation aimed at combating the issue of misleading expiration dates at the federal level. He would create a national standard for expiration dates, requiring labels to clearly distinguish between foods that reach their peak freshness by a particular date and foods that are unsafe to eat after a certain date. The bill would also make sure that food may be donated even if it has passed its peak freshness.

Source: Think Progress, 5/18/16, Sell-By Bill; Washington Post, 5/19/16, Expiration Dates

This drove me crazy all those years I worked in food banking - so many people throwing out perfectly good food because of a date printed on the package!