Americans Waste 40% of Food Over Label Confusion: Study
Expiration dates taken too literally, say researchers
By Newsy, a Newser Video Partner
Posted Sep 21, 2013 9:00 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Confusion about expiration dates on foods has become an expensive problem, leading to millions of pounds of perfectly good products going to waste. According to a new study from Harvard University and the National Resources Defense Council, misconceptions about food labels lead to about 40% of the nation’s food supply being unused.

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Showing 3 of 36 comments
Sep 21, 2013 9:05 PM CDT
Researchers may or may not know what they're talking about. I reach behind the front inventory and pull out a carton of milk with the farthest away code date. It will generally be fine for up to 2 weeks beyond that date as my fridge is kept around 35-37 degrees. I don't eat mayo if I can help it. Mayo is associated with a disproportionately high number of cases of food poisoning, no doubt from mishandling. Some bread will keep for a week to 10 days beyond its expiration date but will mold. Others, with spoilage retarding may last a month. I'm not beyond freezing bread. I can keep it for many months that way. Once I open sliced meat, I try to use it in 5-7 days or less. I will not eat it if it ever feels slimy or I smell it and wonder if it smells okay. I learned long ago to trust my sense of smell on everything. If I smell a product and ask myself if it smells ok, afterwards, there's something wrong with it. Canned items may have a code date or plainly obvious real date. If a code date, I'll use a felt tip marking pen and put a 3 digit code on it for month and year purchased. I don't throw away a lot of food but I also don't take a lot of chances with food. I prefer to make decisions on the side of caution but to also plan the use of leftovers and products within a reasonable time frame. I've developed a sense of what we should use expeditiously and try to plan accordingly.
Sep 21, 2013 5:21 PM CDT
Millions of people have to scavenge food that only the flys will fight them over.
Sep 21, 2013 2:38 PM CDT
And the food companies are well aware of this and happy to see people wasting their money. When in doubt, sniff. Remember folks, the nose knows. And you can call me.........Mr Joshua