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What You Should Know About the Food Recovery Act

January 09, 2017

On December 7, 2015, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) introduced a bill called the Food Recovery Act of 2015, which aims to improve the nutritional health of children and reduce less food waste in the U.S. On June 29, 2016, the bill was introduced to the Senate. If passed, the Food Recovery Act could impact the future of FDA labels in several important ways. Throughout this article, we’ll highlight some of these possible labelling breakthroughs.

Improve Sell-By and Expiration Dates

U.S. food waste is a serious issue. According to End Food Waste Now, approximately 40 percent of food in the U.S. is wasted. To reduce this food waste problem, the Food Recovery Act could tackle food expiration date labels. Sell-by dates and expiration dates are not only confusing to the consumer, but also misleading.

When shoppers see a sell-by date or an expiration date on their FDA labels, they assume that the product won’t be safe for human consumption after that date comes and goes. However, this is often not the case. These dates are merely suggestions but are not 100 percent accurate. In fact, food products could easily go bad before those dates or well after the suggested dates. The Food Recovery Act could change all of this.

Reduce Food Waste

Aside from expiration dates, other issues also lead to food waste in America. For example, unattractive fruits and vegetables often don’t even make it to the storefront before being tossed by the retailer. The Food Recovery Act would make it so that stores and schools are encouraged to purchased unattractive-looking fruits and vegetables rather than throwing them out.

The Act would also strengthen Good Samaritan laws and encourage businesses to donate uneaten foods rather than throwing them out and wasting them. Additionally, the Food Recovery Act would encourage schools to use food produced by farms—food that would otherwise go uneaten. To learn more about the Act, visit Congress.gov.

What the Food Recovery Act Means for Labels

Mainly, the Food Recovery Act could impact sell-by and expiration date labels. Currently, it’s difficult for companies to accurately provide sell-by and expiration dates since manufacturers and food labels often use so many different methods to test the taste, texture, and bacteria levels of food and beverage items. However, the Food Recovery Act could change this.

To ensure that your FDA labels are up-to-date and following the latest FDA criteria, be sure to follow our Sticky Notes Blog, where we cover the newest FDA rules and regulations, the latest food labelling innovations, and where we highlight some of the best labelling materials available. If you don’t miss a blog post from us, you’ll always be in the know!

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