U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) have introduced the Food Date Labeling Act, which aims to “end consumer confusion around food date labeling and ensure Americans do not throw out perfectly good food,” according to a press release. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate. The proposed law would establish “Best if Used By” to communicate that the quality may decline following the listed date, while “Use By” would communicate that a product should not be consumed after the listed date.

“Food labeling is important for consumer education, but the current practice is confusing and outdated. This bill takes a step toward reducing food waste by helping consumers understand the meaning behind date labels,” Newhouse is quoted as saying. “The legislation also helps restaurants and grocery stores bridge the gap when it comes to donating food to shelters, food banks and other charitable organizations.”

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.