How to Tell Whether Expired Food Is Safe to Eat
Confusion over what expiration dates mean causes Americans to throw out tons of food that might still be perfectly good
Liability Protection (Connecticut) • CT provides civil and criminal liability protection to: – Individual and organizational donors – Nonprofit or “political subdivision of the state” that receives donated food • Goes beyond federal protections by extending protection to nonprofit distribution of food “for a nominal fee” • Donors and donees are NOT protected if: – They knew or had “reasonable grounds to believe” food was adulterated or otherwise unfit for human consumption
Date Labels (Federal)
• Date labels are generally suggestions of peak quality • Most consumers (~ 90%) think dates are safety-related • No federal definition or requirement for expiration dates – FDA • Only requires date labels on infant formula • As of May 2019, recommends “Best if used by” for quality label – USDA • As of December 2016 recommends “best if used by” for quality label • Many U.S. states regulate date labels and past-date sales • In the U.S., GMA-FMI adopted voluntary standard
Date Labels (Connecticut)
• Last sale date required for: –Dairy • Sale or donation after date not restricted • CT has adopted a voluntary version of the Uniform Open Dating Regulation – “Sell by” OR “Best if used by
Food Donation Improvement Act
The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act for information on liability protections for Connecticut food donations.
Food Donation Improvement Act of 2021
This bill expands liability protections for the donation of food and grocery products.
Specifically, the bill expands the liability protections to include donations of an apparently fit grocery product or apparently wholesome food
- for which the recipient is charged a good Samaritan reduced price that is no greater than the cost of handling, administering, and distributing the food or product; or
- that is donated directly to a needy individual by a retail grocer, wholesaler, agricultural producer, restaurant, caterer, school food authority, or institution of higher education.
The Department of Agriculture must issue regulations that clarify the quality and labeling standards that food products donated under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act must meet to be eligible for liability protection.
F.D.A. Safe Food Handling fact sheet for proper food handling, storage, preparation, etc.
Comprehensive U.S.D.A. guidelines for safely handling and storing food.