If you find yourself confused over food labels, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a pretty common occurrence, especially when it comes to dates on food products. Consumers are inundated with “best before” dates, “sell by” dates, and “use by” dates on foods, and more often than not aren’t sure what those dates really signify. Because of such confusion it is estimated that up to 90% of consumers throw away perfectly good, edible food before they really need to. It is important to understand that the date labels on foods don’t necessarily indicate food safety. In fact, most of these dates are intended to pinpoint food freshness and peak quality - basically this product will taste best if used by this date. With the exception of baby formula, the FDA does not require food manufacturers to place “use by”, “expired by”, or “best before” dates on their products. Whether or not to do so is entirely up to the manufacturer. This is why numerous groups are still working to get a standardized food date labeling system that would help alleviate such confusion, which would also go a long way in helping to cut down the resulting food waste.