It’s breakfast time. You pull a carton of milk out of the fridge, excited about a bowl of delicious cereal. But to your horror, you notice your milk has expired.
What do you do?
Maybe you sniff it, take a swig. Maybe you toss it.
Either way, a recent article by Huffington Post says you probably shouldn’t worry too much about what the date on the carton says. In the U.S., date labels are generally terrible at telling people when their food will become unsafe to consume, some experts say.
That could change soon, however. Advocacy groups like environmental nonprofit Feedback are pushing food producers to replace confusing labels with clearer date markers.
In addition, recently proposed federal legislation would standardize date labeling across the country. Both efforts aim to replace the current date labeling system with two labels: one for quality (”best if used by”) and one for safety (”expires on”).
Up to 40 percent of the U.S. food supply goes uneaten every year, according to a widely cited 2009 study of food waste.
Nearly 20 percent of food waste in people’s homes is caused by the confusing date labeling system, according to Niki Charalampopoulou, managing director of Feedback.
Simply making date labels easier to understand would avoid 398,000 tons of wasted food every year, one study found.
Source: Huffington Post