The USDA’s New Recommendation Aims to Bottle-up Food Wastage, Reportedly Hits the Bull’s Eye nearing this Year’s End
Packaged foods frequently face a wastage issue post the printed expiry date. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) comes up with a new guideline that can standardize the entire food labeling practice, specifically aiming at minimal wastage of food. The Public Affairs specialist, USDA, stated that the new labeling guideline will not serve as an indicator of food safety but food quality.
Consumers are highly confused regarding when exactly the food goes fowl, even in the cases of meticulously labeled food packets. The USDA recommends manufacturers to surpass vague indicators on the labels, such as ‘best before’ or ‘sell by’, and phrase the new labels including the ‘best if used by’ tag. This, according to the authority, will deliver a clear indicator to consumers, of the quality of food they look forward to purchase.
Al Almanza, The Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA, agreed with the remark that this effort from USDA is seldom for reduction of food wastage and the new recommendation can effectively provide consumers with a clear and precise information about the dates labeled on food packets. He further added that this new guideline by USDA will aid consumers stay alert about expiry dates of foods they buy and save pretty much by preventing the loss of wholesome food later.
While the US FDA’s ‘sell by’ labels are retailer-centric, the new ‘best if used by’ label suggested by USDA will necessarily be consumer-centric. The FDA mandates a standard ‘use by’ label only for infant formula; other products are labeled relatively non-uniformly.
Between retailers and consumers, nearly 30% of food wastage is a commonplace. The USDA guideline for packaged food labeling with the ‘best if used by’ date targets this percentage for reduction. Currently, there are no predictions about how much food can be prevented from wastage; however, the authorities reaffirm the potential of the new recommendation to curb the loss of amounts of wholesome food in the future.