Some foods received by Second Harvest Foodbank are past date, almost always “sell by” or “use by” dates.For canned foods, this means that the food is at its peak nutritional value and peak taste at that time, after which both decline at a very slow rate.If a TCS food is being served and the temperature is not being maintained, it needs to be labeled with the following: Cold foods must be sold or served within six hours.After six hours any leftover cold food product must be discarded.This recent news headline shows just how important it is to label food and non-food items in your kitchen.Any food that is not in its original packaging must be labeled.
One source of food waste arises from consumers or retailers throwing away wholesome food because of confusion about the meaning of dates displayed on the label.In the case of frozen food, it can be used for years past these dates as long as the food has remained frozen.It might not taste quite as good, but it’s perfectly safe to eat. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute recently asked their members to standardize quality dates that appear on food packages in an effort to curb the problem of food waste. “Most food products carry dates that advise consumers when the product remains within a certain standard of quality set by the manufacturer,” says Barbara Ingham, food safety specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension.A 2013 report from the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and the National Resource Defense Council estimated that 40 percent of food in the U. goes uneaten, resulting in waste of at least 160 billion pounds of food each year. “However, with the exception of infant formula, these dates are not linked to food safety.