Citing annual costs of $1,500 in wasted food to the average American
family, and a “dizzying array of misleading labels,” U.S. Sen. Dick
Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is reportedly poised to introduce a proposal that
would establish uniform national standards for food dating.

“Terms like ‘best by,’ ‘sell by’ and ‘use by’ have no bearing on food safety,
leading 90 percent of Americans to throw away food past those dates out
of mistaken concern for food safety risks,” Blumenthal said in a February
19, 2016, Facebook post.

According to the Hartford Courant, Blumenthal’s legislation would
require labels to indicate the duration of a product’s quality by providing
dates preceded by “best if used by.” The proposal would also mandate
that “high-risk foods,” including hot dogs and deli meats, to carry
labeling with “expires on” dates.

A similar initiative was included in provisions of the Food Recovery Act
of 2015 (H.R. 4184), which was referred to the House Subcommittee on
Health in December 2015. See Hartford Courant, February 18, 2016.


Issue 594

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.