1 min read
avoiding food waste; Woman checking ingredients on back of milk carton in supermarket

Have you ever thrown away a jar of peanut butter because it was past the “Best if Used By” date? Maybe you noticed the “Sell-By” date on your milk carton was yesterday, and even though it looked and smelled okay, you were still too scared to drink it. Food companies use more than 10 different phrases on food labels to tell us when a food is fresh and safe to eat. But do we really know what they all mean, or do they do more harm than good?

Americans waste about 90 billion pounds of food each year. Some food we throw out is still safe to eat, but the labels make it hard to know for sure. To cut back on the confusion, more food companies will begin using the same wording on labels to make it easy to tell when a food is safe and when it should be thrown away. Many food labels will begin to use just two phrases: “BEST if Used By” and “USE By”. “Best if Used By” will mean the food will be freshest if eaten by this date, but is still safe to eat after. “USE By” will mean the food is not safe to eat if not used by this date. Read more about these changes here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/grocery-industry-launches-new-initiative-to-reduce-consumer-confusion-on-product-date-labels-300407909.html

More about food waste:

Check out these tips from MyPlate for wasting less food in your home:  https://www.choosemyplate.gov/lets-talk-trash

View the full infographic here: https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/printablematerials/2015-LetsTalkTrash-2page.pdf

Click here to view the USDA Nondiscrimination Statement.

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