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USDA Revises Guidance on Date Labeling to Reduce Food Waste

Thursday, December 22, 2016

(North American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued new guidance aimed at reducing food waste by encouraging food manufacturers and retailers that apply product dating to use a "best if used by" date label, instead of "sell by" and "best by" dates. FSIS announced it is recommending the use of a "best if used by" date because research shows that consumers easily understand this phrase as an indicator of quality, rather than safety. The move is expected to reduce consumer confusion and add uniformity to product date labeling. Except for infant formula, product dating is not required by federal regulations, but food manufacturers frequently use dates on product labels to indicate quality. For more information about this revised guidance and to provide comment, click here. Comments are due by February 7, 2017.

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