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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 16, 2019 04:05 PM
From: Representative Danielle Friel Otten
To: All House members
Subject: Food Date Labeling Requirements
Based on a recent survey, nearly 85 percent of American consumers admit to throwing out food based solely on the date on the package. However, those dates are often arbitrary and do not necessarily reflect the date at which the food has spoiled and should be discarded. Laws regulating date labeling on food are so varied throughout the country that no two states have the same labeling laws. This confusion contributes significantly to the waste of safe, edible food, resulting in approximately $29 billion in wasted consumer spending each year.

To prevent further waste, I am introducing legislation that will set a standard for date labeling of food sold in Pennsylvania. Under this standard, manufacturers would be required to place a “Use By” label on their product that tells consumers the final date at which the food is safe for human consumption. The legislation would also allow manufacturers to print a voluntary “Best If Used By” label to inform consumers of the date at which the food may begin to lose quality in taste or appearance but still be safe for human consumption. These standards are consistent with those created by the Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Please join me in helping to reduce food waste and encourage adherence with industry-wide standards for food labeling by supporting this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1959