sumption, and they end up discarding perfectly safe products.
In September 2017, the Consumer Goods Forum, a network of 400 of the world’s
largest food and consumer goods companies, announced an initiative to fight food
waste. By asking retailers and food producers to simplify food date labels, the Consumer Goods Forum aims to harmonize expiration dates around the globe.
The voluntary initiative calls on food manufacturers to use just two standard
phrases for expiration dates—“BEST if Used By” and “Use By.” “BEST if Used By”
will convey the quality of the food product, meaning that the food might not taste
or perform its best after the date but is still safe to eat. In contrast, “Use By” will apply to highly perishable products, which should be eaten by the date listed on the
package and discarded after that date. 2
Be Safe, Not Sorry
When it comes to food safety, there is no room for negotiation. Whether by keeping food fresher for longer or informing consumers on when food is safe to eat, modernization in packaging technology and initiatives from industry organizations offer
solutions that both protect food and move the industry toward sustainability. n
Tom Egan is the vice president, industry services, at The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.
(continued from page 38)
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