The Food Marketing Institute is pleased the U.S. Food and Drug Administration supports industry efforts to make food product date labels more understandable.
The FMI received a letter from the FDA that supports efforts with the food manufacturing community to reduce consumer confusion regarding food product date labels.
FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin replied to the letter, saying:
“On behalf of FMI’s retail, wholesale and manufacturer members, we sincerely appreciate FDA’s recognition of the industry’s dedication to seeking solutions and mitigating consumer confusion in the marketplace regarding how best to navigate the myriad product code date labels on grocery shelves across the country. The agency’s endorsement signals a best practice in ways industry partners can truly deliver on a promise to provide guidance to our customers that is easier to understand.
“In 2017, members of the Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association offered a nationwide voluntary initiative encouraging the adoption of standard date-label wording on packages that provides guidance concerning the quality and potential degradation of food products, which has implications for food waste reduction.
“We appreciate FDA’s endorsement of the ‘best if used by’ date, a moniker of quality. We look forward to continued discussions with both FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the small universe of food products that require a demarcation for food storage and safety.
“Through enhanced education and transparent communication, consumer confidence in their grocery stores as advocates for their health will only increase.”
Food Marketing Institute advocates on behalf of the food retail industry, which employs nearly five million workers and represents a combined annual sales volume of almost $800 billion. FMI member companies operate nearly 33,000 retail food stores and 12,000 pharmacies. FMI membership includes the entire spectrum of food retail venues; single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains, pharmacies, online and mixed retail stores. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education, health and wellness and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to almost 1,000 food retail and wholesale member companies and serves 85 international retail member companies.