New guidelines for those 'use by' dates on your food

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New guidelines to switch sell by and used by date labels (KTRK)

A big change is coming to your food labels to make it easier to understand expiration dates, because, let's be honest -- between the 'sell by' and 'best by' dates, it can all be a little confusing.

It's hard to tell if a food has gone bad if it's past its best by or sell by date. Before this change, there were 10 different phrases for date labeling. So to make things a little easier for consumers, here are the new guidelines.

Two major industry associations are encouraging retailers and manufacturers to make the switch to only two product date labels -- "best if used by" and "use by."

"Best if used by" is described as "product quality where the product may not taste or perform as expected but is safe to use or consume."

"Use by" applies to "highly perishable" products or those that "have a food safety concern over time."

Nutritionist Maya Feller said, "I think the new initiative that simplifies all the dates will be really, really helpful and cut down on food waste. It's so streamlined and it's much easier to follow."

Shoppers shouldn't expect to see the new labels anytime soon. While manufacturers are urged to make the switch now, they have until July 2018 to do so.
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