Expiration Dates On Custom Food Labels May Be Misleading There is consistent controversy over whether consumers should abide by the expiration or "best by" dates on custom food labels. According to Time Magazine, U.S. consumers throw out 25 percent of the food that enters homes. Out of fear of illness, many Americans will toss products that have passed the date on food product labels, but this may not be necessary. European countries are presenting a paper that will address the issue of wasted food as result of date labeling, Reuters reported. The paper asks the European Commission to debate whether products with long shelf lives should include a "best before" date at all.
Better Education About Product Stickers May Be Necessary In Europe, the "use by" and "best before" designations on product stickers have different meanings, according to Time. Items that have a "use by" date may pose a certain health risk if consumed after this time. In contrast "best before" dates merely indicate the window of highest quality. The shelf life on these products could be very long. However, the confusion between these two often results in wasted food. In Europe, 30 to 50 percent of food in supermarkets gets thrown out, according to Reuters.