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New study hopes to clear up confusion about packaging dates

(KY3)
Published: Feb. 21, 2019 at 11:43 AM CST
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A new study by Johns Hopkins University says many people are throwing out good food because of confusion about the dates on the packaging.

Owners of Christian County Discount Freight and Grocery say they have known for years that most food past the date is still good to eat. They sell a lot of groceries that are discontinued, seasonal, closeouts, banged up boxes and cans, and lots of stuff that is out of date. Owner Todd White says their groceries are probably about half and half, in date and out of date.

The USDA estimates that about one-third of all food is wasted by retailers and consumers. And that study by Johns Hopkins University found it's because of so much confusion about the dates that say sell-by, best-if-used-by, or use-by. Experts say in most cases, those dates mean the quality of the item may decrease but it's still okay to eat for some time.

"The things we do have out, I would take home and feed to my kids, which I have for the last 11 years," said White. "So if it's not safe, or we feel like it's not fresh enough, we don't put it out."

White says their business is constantly growing, especially since they moved from Nixa to their new location in Ozark. But more are also learning the truth about food dates. They even give customers information and encourage them to do their own research.