Food expiration labels are misleading, Harvard study says

Food expiration labels are misleading, Harvard study says

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ATLANTA -

Americans throw out billions of pounds of food every year because they falsely believe "sell-by" and "best-before" dates on package labels indicate food safety, researchers have found.

A study published Wednesday by Harvard Law School and the Natural Resources Defense Council found that dates printed on packaged foods, which help retailers cycle through stocked products and allow manufacturers to indicate when a product is at its peak freshness, are inconsistent. They confuse consumers, leading many to throw out food before it actually goes bad.

"The labeling system is aimed at helping consumers understand freshness, but it fails - they think it's about safety. And (consumers) are wasting money and wasting food because of this misunderstanding," said co-author Emily Broad Lieb, who led the report from the Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic.

Which brings us to Good Day Atlanta's HOT TOPIC question: "Do you pay attention to the dates on food labels?" Post your answer at the FOX 5 Atlanta Facebook page and join the discussion!

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