Finally. Finally. They are coming out with expiration dates for food that actually mean what people think they do.
Currently, most of the dates on food are there for the shelvers, so they know which stuff to rotate up front.
Yet people interpret these as throw away dates at home.
For example, I saw a relative (KB) once throw out yogurt because it was getting merely close to the date printed on the container. Of course, yogurt is kinda’ sorta’ spoiled already, so this was not very bright.*
It’s been estimated that 1/3 of the food thrown out by Americans has not yet started to spoil to any significant extent (yes, of course, just about everything starts spoiling as soon as it’s no longer alive).
So, the new guidelines are voluntary. But there will only be two:
- Best if used by
- Use by
Those are pretty clear. Thow away if you pass the second date. Do the smell test if you’ve passed the first date.
Estimates are that these new dates will reduce food refuse by a tad under 20%.
ALthough, I suppose that food will get eaten and create a different sort of refuse. But, do note, that there’s a fallacy of composition in asserting that this sort of waste will go up.
The goal is for widespread adoption within 18 months.
* For my part, it drives me absolutely crazy that consumers demand stuff like “fresh” beer, while homebrewers know that fresh beer is lousy and that it needs to age.