Washington Rep. Newhouse among lawmakers pushing to standardize food date labels

Dec 12, 2021, 1:48 PM
food date...
A customer scans the expiration date on gallons of milk sitting on a cooler shelf at a grocery store. (File photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(File photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse is part of a trio of U.S. lawmakers who have reintroduced a bill to standardize food expiration dates.

Ross: The big lie of food expiration dates

The lawmakers behind the bill — Reps. Newhouse (R-WA) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) — say Americans are confused by food date labeling and that way too much food that is still safe to eat ends up in landfills.

They say standardizing the system will reduce food waste, help people save money, which will lead to more donations to food banks, and will help the environment.

“To allow confusing food labeling practices to contribute to unnecessary food waste is absurd — especially when there are tens of millions of Americans experiencing food insecurity,” Newhouse said in a written statement. “This is a commonsense solution to a pervasive problem, and as co-chair of the Food Recovery Caucus, I am proud to partner with Rep. Pingree and Sen. Blumenthal to reintroduce this legislation which will reform outdated labeling practices, reduce food waste, and help Americans save money.”

In the United States, 40% of all food produced is wasted, costing the country $161 billion annually, the release about the food labeling act details.

Right now, infant formula is the only food product with federal regulations related to date labels. The rest of is a patchwork of state rules with what the trio of lawmakers say are confusing terms like, “sell by,” “use by,” “freshest on,” and “expires on.”

Washington needs to ‘defeat climate change at its source,’ says Gov. Inslee

As explained in a news release, the bipartisan Food Date Labeling Act establishes a food date labeling system that uses two terms. “Best if used by” is to communicate to consumers that the quality of the food product may begin to deteriorate after the date, and “use by” communicates the end of the estimated period of shelf life, after which the product should not be consumed.

“Under the legislation, food manufacturers will decide which food products carry a quality date or a discard date,” the release explains. “This legislation will also allow food to be sold or donated after its labeled quality date, helping more perfectly good food reach those who need it.”

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

Local News

crime blotter...
Darren Dedo

The Crime Blotter: Two people arrested for statewide dealership car thefts

Detectives recovered a stolen BMW, a stolen gun, various key fobs, and suspected stolen credit cards and IDs.
16 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Seattle just got one step closer to banning gas-powered leaf blowers

The Seattle City Council voted out of committee Friday a resolution that sunsets City and privately owned gas-powered leaf blowers within city limits.
16 hours ago
(Department of Corrections)...
Associated Press

Snohomish County prison worker charged with unsafe gun storage after suicide

Prosecutors said a state prisons employee didn’t properly secure the gun her 12-year-old son used to die by suicide, leading to a first-of-its-kind criminal charge in Snohomish County.
16 hours ago
Hanna Scott

King County prosecutor requests criminal probe of missing texts of former mayor, police chief

Texts of public officials are public records and must be retained for at least two years. Knowingly destroying them before then is a felony under state law.
16 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Daughter discovers parents violently murdered in Kitsap County

Kitsap County deputies are investigating what they say is a double homicide in Olalla.
16 hours ago
(Getty Images)...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

KIRO Newsradio Headlines: Unsafe levels of bacteria found on Lake WA beaches

The KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk gives you the news you may have missed on the afternoon of Friday, August 19.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
Washington Rep. Newhouse among lawmakers pushing to standardize food date labels