Promoting Food Donation: Date Labeling Law and Policy Issue Brief

Food date labels are a key driver of food waste and a significant obstacle to food donation. Generally intended to reflect how long the manufacturer believes the food will maintain its peak quality and flavor, food date labels are mistakenly interpreted as safety indicators. Because of this confusion, potential food donors mistakenly throw away safe, surplus food when a food item reaches the date on its label, or this food is refused by food recovery organizations, leading to more food waste.

The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic and The Global FoodBanking Network published an Issue Brief through The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas to help global leaders address the issue of food date labels. Promoting Food Donation: Date Labeling Law and Policy shares three best practices designed to make food date labels less confusing, support food donation, reduce food waste, and limit climate change.

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Read the Issue Brief