USDA Revises Guidance on Date Labeling

12/21/2016 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued updated information on food product labeling, including new guidance aimed at reducing food waste by encouraging food manufacturers and retailers with dated products to use a “Best if Used By” date label rather than other labels.  

Research shows “Best if Used By” labeling is more easily understood by consumers as an indicator of quality, rather than safety. Al Almanza, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety noted the labeling updates “can help consumers save money and curb the amount of wholesome food going in the trash.”

Currently, the USDA estimates “30 percent of food is lost or wasted at the retail and consumer level.”

In March of 2016, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation published a report, The State of America’s Wasted Food and Opportunities to Make a Difference, calling for changes to reduce consumer confusion. Reducing food waste will continue to be a priority for the Academy throughout the incoming Administration and Congress.