The average American family of four throws out $1,500 in food per year. (USDA) This contributes to more food ending up in our local landfills, creating more methane, which is a really potent greenhouse gas.
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), “Except for infant formula, product dating is not required by Federal regulations. Manufacturers provide dating to help consumers and retailers decide when food is of the best quality.”
This means “expiration” dates have more to do with food quality and rarely correspond to when food actually expires or spoils. At Second Harvest, we recognize labels can be confusing and we can do our part to help educate our community about how to read food labels.
Food date labels such as “USE BY”, “SELL BY” or “BEST BY” are used to inform you on the freshness and quality of foods. Food is still safe to eat past these dates. Food safety is something that concerns all of us, but the reality is that food can still be safe to eat past these dates.
We advise you to follow the dates on all infant formula, baby food and nutritional supplements.