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Masses of food wasted - 'use by' dates mislead - 80 percent of labels that indicate freshness "are guesses from consumer questionnaires"


http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Masses-of-food-wasted-use-by-dates-mislead-4825974.php

sell by date

Washington -- Americans throw away 40 percent of the food they buy, often because of misleading expiration dates that have nothing to do with safety, said a study released Wednesday by Harvard University Law School and the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.

Wasting food also squanders vast quantities of water, land, fertilizers, petroleum, packaging and other resources that go into producing it. About a quarter of all fresh water used in the United States goes into the making of food that is thrown away, the report said

Labuza said 80 percent of labels that indicate freshness "are guesses from consumer questionnaires" or are based on competitor practices.

The authors said the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture have the authority to impose a standardized rule. They recommended establishing clear date labels for quality and safety, discontinuing quality-based dates on shelf-stable packaged products, and promoting "freeze by" dates to encourage freezing.

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