Food dating system

Although he always considered himself a pretty savvy consumer in the past, Blumenthal said he, too, was guilty of discarding perfectly edible food. Blumenthal's new bill would require food industry manufacturers and retailers that use a date on labels to indicate quality to use the term "best if used by." A study by Wal-Mart found that was the term most easily understood by consumers looking to know how long a food would actually taste good."I can't tell you how many cartons of milk and cantaloupes I've discarded," believing they were past their "sell by" or "use by" dates, Blumenthal said. The legislation would also require that "high-risk foods," such as deli meats or hot dogs, have an "expires on" date on their label to clearly indicate when such foods should not be eaten.Information about dates on pre-packaged food is a valuable source of information for consumers.A basic understanding of what terms are used can help you to better understand these labels.UPC codes are used not only for pricing, but to help manufacturers record inventory levels and track sales for marketing purposes.The numbers associated with UPC codes are not included for product recall identification purposes.

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Blumenthal cited studies indicating that more than 160 billion pounds of perfectly good food is thrown away in the U. Much of that discarded food could be donated to food banks and shelters to help America's hungry, experts said. Other experts said an estimated 25 percent of fresh water in the U. "Millions and millions of pounds of food are being wasted," he said.In the case of infant formula, if stored too long, it can separate and clog the nipple. Do not buy or use baby formula or baby food after its “use-by” date.Can Codes: A tool for recalls and inventory control Food cans must display packing codes to enable tracking in the event of a recall.He said he hasn't done any actual surveys, but his instincts tell him there would be strong support throughout the food and grocery industries for the kind of bill Blumenthal wants. Department of Agriculture have been far more focused on food safety issues and preventing food-related illness than on food label dating.Blumenthal said he believes a lack of consumer understanding about the problems with the current system has contributed to the failure in Congress and the federal government to reform food dating. Connecticut is one of four states with laws aimed at requiring businesses that send large amounts of discarded food to landfills to seek better alternatives, including donations to food banks and composting operations. Department of Agriculture (USDA), there is no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating in the United States.With the exceptions of infant formula and some baby food, product dating is not generally required by Federal regulations.Steve Armstrong, chief food law counsel for Campbell Soup, said his company and many others in the food industry fully support "uniform national standards" for food dating.He said such a system would benefit consumers, food manufacturers and the nation's grocery stores, as well as food banks for the poor."Donating food is a tricky one for everyone in the food industry," Armstrong said, citing conflicting state regulations about how long an unsold food item can be safely given away to food banks."We welcome science-based regulation," Armstrong said.If the product has a “use-by” date, the product should be consumed or frozen by that date.According to the USDA, even if a use-by date expires during home storage, “a product should be safe, wholesome, and of good quality – if handled properly and kept at 40F or below.” If food develops an off odor, flavor, or appearance due to spoilage bacteria, the food should be discarded for quality reasons.

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