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.