Date Label Confusion

Okay, running back and forth to the market to purchase new items because what’s in the refrigerator has expired in not our idea of rewarding exercise. And it makes us mad that confusing date labels are creating food waste…we don’t like that one bit!


According to a joint study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, “91 percent of consumers occasionally throw food away based on the ‘sell by’ date out of a mistaken concern for food safety even though none of the date labels actually indicate food is unsafe to eat.”


In one survey by the public health and safety organization NSF International, researchers found that people have trouble understanding and differentiating between common food label terms such as “expiration date,” “best if used by date” and “sell by date.” That confusion leads to billions of dollars of waste, as well as illness, and even more unnecessary contribution to our landfills.


When will food labels be made more clear, we ask? What resource do you use when teaching your children about such date labels?


Expiration Date

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