USDA Revises Thinking About Date Labeling
Citing the need to help curb food loss and waste, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced new guidance that encourages food manufacturers and retailers to use the phrase “Best if Used by” on date labeling. Infant formula is the only product currently subject to mandatory date labeling under federal law. Date labeling for other food and beverage products is voluntary, and the variety of “Sell by” and “Use by” phrasing used to describe quality dates has apparently led to the early disposal of products that are still safe to consume. See FSIS News Release, December 14, 2016.