Study says shoppers pay price for misunderstanding 'Sell by' dat - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Study says shoppers pay price for misunderstanding 'Sell by' dates

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A Harvard study says people don't understand what the phrases "Sell by," "Use by" and "Best if used by" mean when it comes to grocery products -- and they're throwing out hundreds of dollars worth of good food because of it. A Harvard study says people don't understand what the phrases "Sell by," "Use by" and "Best if used by" mean when it comes to grocery products -- and they're throwing out hundreds of dollars worth of good food because of it.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute want to fix this problem. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute want to fix this problem.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Harvard study says people don't understand what the phrases "Sell by," "Use by" and "Best if used by" mean, when it comes to grocery products, and they're throwing out hundreds of dollars worth of good food because of it.

The study says about 90 percent of people throw away food too early because they don't understand the date label. That means the average family throws out about $1,500 worth of food per year.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute want to fix this problem. They got the CEOs of 50 major food brands like Nestle, Campbell and Kellogg to agree to start using standardized language by 2020.

Consumers could soon only see two phrases: "Use by" and "Best if used by."

But neither of those phrases has anything to do with food safety. They both actually refer to the best flavor or quality of the food.

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