Understanding Food Shelf Life Could Reduce Food Waste

These dates communicate food quality and not food safety

- DuBois

NEBRASKA CITY – Understanding food shelf life is key to reducing food waste, Sally Dubois  of Keep Nebraska City Beautiful told Rotarians on Wednesday.

She said most food can be safely consumed well after the expiration date on its label.

Dubois: “So let’s talk about date labels and regulations. These dates are intended to communicate food quality and not safety.”

She said most date labels are unregulated by the federal government  and state regulations fail to recognize the distinction between food safety and food quality.

Dubois: “Nebraska does not have any laws whatsoever that bear on food date labels. I’m a visual aid person. Mr. Yogurt here, it’s empty, I consumed it this morning. I’m still standing here and the date on it is March 5, so a month ago.”

She said the label says sell by March 5, 2019, but the product is sealed and can last in a refrigerator eight weeks beyond the recommended sale date.

Dubois: “The manufacturer puts the date on the label to estimate the point at which a food will no longer be at its peak quality.”

Keep Nebraska City Beautiful recommends proper storage of food to lengthen shelf life, smaller dinner plates and other action items listed at Save The Food dot com.