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Consumers Have Trouble Reading Food Labels

Consumers Have Trouble Reading Food Labels
MMR

A new poll finds that many American consumers are having issues with date labels on their food products. The poll, led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, found 60 percent of 1,000 American consumers surveyed have had discussions in their homes about the exact meaning of such terms as “best by, use by, sell by, use or freeze by” that currently are found on food labels.

GMA says the resulting confusion not only makes it difficult to determine whether food is safe to eat, but also causes disagreements among 40 percent of poll respondents on whether the food should be eaten or thrown away. The GMA and poll co-sponsor Food Policy Action Network acted in February with a goal of streamlining and standardizing the words on date labels.

The organizations now believe that using the words “Best If Used By” to describe product quality and the term “Use By” to address perishability concerns can clear up the consumer confusion, according to Meatingplace. The groups say that eliminating date label confusion can save U.S. households money and time and help eliminate food waste.

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