Expiration date clarification gets more backing

by Rebekah Schouten
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The voluntary product code dating initiative seeks to eliminate unnecessary food waste.
MCLEAN, VA. — The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) has joined the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s (GMA) voluntary product code dating initiative.

Established in February, the initiative seeks to help reduce consumer confusion over dates on product labels to avoid unnecessary food waste by whittling down label date vocabulary to two phrases: “Best if used or freeze by” and “Use or freeze by.” The former indicates to consumers that the product may not taste or perform as expected but is safe to consume after the listed date. The latter informs consumers that the product should not be consumed after the date listed due to its perishable nature and should be disposed of.

Alison Bodor, president and CEO of the AFFI

“When it comes to food waste, we’ve all seen the statistics: 40 percent of the food produced in the United States each year is never eaten, amounting to about $162 billion lost every year,” said Alison Bodor, president and CEO of the AFFI “When you begin to dig deeper into these statistics, you find that consumer confusion over the meaning of labels may account for as much as 20 percent of consumer waste of safe, edible food. We already know that frozen food generates almost 50 percent less waste when compared to ambient and chilled food consumed in the home, yet there is more that our industry can do. That’s why AFFI is joining FMI and GMA’s voluntary product code dating initiative. AFFI’s support of the ‘Best if used by’ language to indicate best product quality for frozen foods will help facilitate consumer understanding of date labeling and lessen food waste.”


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