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Use by. Sell by. Best if used by.
Date labels are confusing and can lead to needlessly throwing away good food. With the exception of infant formula, they pertain to product quality, not food safety. Learning the difference between "sell-by", "use-by" and "best-by" dates is a great first step toward storing smart. Use this guide as a quick reference:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides more information on food dating.
The Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act was passed to encourage companies and organizations to donate food and groceries to non-profits for distribution to individuals in need. The legislation:
Harvard Food Law and Policy Center and University of Arkansas also have additional information on food donation legislation. Information on this legislation as well as possible tax deductions for businesses is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In addition, South Carolina law provides liability protection for food donors through S.C. Code of Laws §§ 15-74-10 et seq. According to the law, "the donor, in good faith, of distressed food apparently fit for human consumption, to a bona fide charitable or nonprofit organization or food bank or prepared and perishable food program for free distribution, is not subject to criminal penalty or civil damages arising from the condition of the food or the nature or condition of the land entered, unless an injury is caused by gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of the donor."
National Campaigns and Helpful Links: