New USDA Guidelines Will Prevent Thousands of Pounds of Food Waste

New USDA Guidelines Will Prevent Thousands of Pounds of Food Waste

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Food waste CC USDA Flickr

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans to clarify expiration date printing so that less good food will be thrown out by American families.

According to the National Resource Defense Council, nine out of 10 shoppers are confused over the difference between “sell by”, “best by”, and “use by” dates. This leads consumers to reportedly throw away over $1,500 worth of perfectly edible food.

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That’s why the USDA is telling manufacturers to only start using “best if used by” stamps.

The “best if used by” doesn’t count as an expiration date either – it usually amounts to the food seller’s best guess at the product’s freshest quality peak. Milk, however, can usually last up to a week after a typically given expiration time stamp, while eggs can stay fresh for weeks after the “use by” guidelines.

“This new guidance can help consumers save money and curb the amount of wholesome food going in the trash,” said Al Almanza, USDA deputy under secretary for food safety.

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(Photo by USDA, CC)

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