best before date on canned food, close up.

The Scary Truth: How Supermarkets Play With Best Before Dates

FDA Moving to Regulate Best Before Date Labels

As more consumers and watchdog groups are bringing awareness to the dangers of eating contaminated, over expired, and bacteria-infected food, the FDA announced in 2019 it will push for regulation of best before date labels. It’s not only about protecting consumers from eating something bad, either. The FDA also wants to prevent people from throwing foodstuff away solely based on the best before date on packaging when particular items have much longer shelf lives than others. For example, if stored properly, canned and, bottled goods can last years, whereas bagged items tend to turn stale or go bad a lot faster.

Gram negative cocco bacilli

How bad is going past best before date? Well, it usually depends on the type of food. For example, individual deserts with fruit topping can grow molds and fungi that are deadly! And the scary thing about it is, many supermarket bakeries have a habit of merely scraping the moldy fruit and replacing it with fresh fruit topping to make an expired desert look fresh.

A part of the FDA’s strategy is to create labeling standards that inform consumers of food quality (but not safe unless baby formula and baby food) and better expiration dates. However, there still is not anything on the table about stopping grocers from replacing old labels with new labels so they can sell that cake in the bakery that has not sold in a month. So, while the FDA is trying its best to prevent food waste, it still can’t seem to do anything more concerning food safety. This means shoppers need to be a lot more cautious about the kinds of products they buy and from where they buy them.

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