In a new industry-wide effort to reduce consumer confusion about product date labels, grocery manufacturers and retailers have joined together to adopt standard wording on packaging about the quality and safety of products.

Currently, more than ten different date labels on packages - such as Sell By, Use By, Expires On, Best Before, Better if Used By or Best By - can result in confused consumers discarding a safe or usable product after the date on the package, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute.

The two organizations are working on an initiative that streamlines the date labels on consumer products packaging down to just two standard phrases. "BEST If Used By" describes product quality, where the product may not taste or perform as expected but is safe to use or consume. "USE By" applies to the few products that are highly perishable or have a food safety concern over time. The industry hopes to implement the changes by the end of next year.

Source;  NAFB News