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Meat Institute Submits Comments Regarding ‘Best if Used By’ Label

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

(North American Meat Institute)

The Meat Institute submitted comments regarding the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) guidance document 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” label because research shows that consumers easily understand this phrase as an indicator of quality, rather than safety.

In the comments, the Meat Institute stated that “Best if Used By” is an ambiguous and potentially confusing designation for fresh meat and poultry products. The Institute also said that date labeling has a food safety element for certain meat and poultry products, and stressed that variables outside the control of meat and poultry companies affect product date labeling and food waste. Furthermore, the Meat Institute indicated that understandable language and consumer education are keys to reducing food waste.

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