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Walmart Hopes Its New Date Labeling Scheme Will Help Reduce Wasted Food

June 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart is changing the date labeling scheme on its food products to avoid consumer confusion over safe-to-eat dates. That confusion has led Americans to toss $29 billion worth of edible food into the trash every year. Walmart’s fix is to require suppliers of its own label Great Value products to use the same standardized date – “best if used by” – for non-perishable foods. The change began last year, and the company says 70 percent of its private label suppliers have already complied. The rest have until next month to comply. The Food Marketing Institute says most date labels aren’t meant to indicate safety, only when manufacturers believe products will go beyond peak quality.
Twilight Greenaway, "Can Walmart's food labels make a dent in America's $29bn food waste problem?", The Guardian, June 26, 2016, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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