A new measure in the Legislature would ban the use of “sell by” dates on food products and mandate food packaging adopt “best if used by” or “use by” labels. The rationale is to curb food waste by consumers. Environmental groups argue the voluntary approach with “use by” dates is “clearly insufficient.”
But Dennis Albiani, a lobbyist for the Consumer Brands Association, warned that “whenever there's a mandate, there's always liability.” Adding a single-state mandate like this could disrupt regulatory and statutory reviews for both USDA and CDFA, he explained. It gets much more complicated with eggs.
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Representing the California Grocers Association, Taylor Roschen argued it would be challenging to train grocery staff to interpret potentially thousands of different coded versions of “sell by” indicators.