Is it ever OK to serve expired food?

x graphic

With more retailers and operators moving toward serving “ugly” produce, it’s clear that looks aren’t everything when it comes to food. But what if an item is visually appealing—and past its expiration date?

While the consistency of food safety labeling may be in question, The National Restaurant Association encourages its members to adhere to the FDA Food Code, NRA spokeswoman Rachel Sabales says. It reads: “The day or date marked by the food establishment may not exceed a manufacturer’s use-by date if the manufacturer determined the use-by date based on food safety.”

“It’s not recommended to go past a use-by date,” she says. “Especially for ready-to-eat foods; there’s normally a food safety reason.”

A study by the National Resources Defense Council found that 90 percent of Americans occasionally throw out food based on date labels out of concern for safety—even though those labels aren’t standardized. A bill introduced in California in March looks to create two date labels: one reading “best if used by,” to indicate quality and flavor, and “expires on,” to communicate safety, Los Angeles magazine reports. Similar bills have been proposed in Congress. 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Foodservice operators and other employers in New York City are adjusting to a new law that enforces paid time off for staff who have been the victims of certain crimes.

Called paid safe leave, the benefit is believed to be among the first of its kind in the nation. A more limited version has been in effect in Minneapolis since last summer.

The New York law applies to employees who have been the victims of actual or threatened domestic violence, unwanted sexual contact, stalking or human trafficking.

Workers can also opt for safe paid leave if a member of their...

Industry News & Opinion

A Massachusetts bill to end lunch shaming has been stalled in the House, reports South Coast Today.

The House chair of the Education Committee voted on Tuesday for further study of the bill, which would prevent schools from throwing away hot lunches and/or serving an alternative meal to students behind on lunch payments. Under the bill, schools would also be unable to bar students with unpaid balances from participating in extracurricular activities.

Additionally, the bill asks schools to take action in reducing families’ meal debt by helping families apply for free or...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of California, Santa Cruz is converting its Cowell Coffee Shop into a “multi-service basic needs cafe” to aid students facing food insecurity .

The new cafe is being created through a partnership with dining services, the school’s center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and UCSC’s Cowell College. Due to open at the start of the fall semester, the lower part of the cafe will continue to be a study space for students (with free coffee and tea) and will also host nutrition and financial wellness programming.

Upstairs, the kitchen will be used as a...

Managing Your Business
quitting job

What prompts foodservice managers to clean out their offices and head out with a last paycheck? A new survey suggests the triggers may be changing with the times.

The canvass of 2,000 restaurant professionals, conducted by placement firm Gecko Hospitality, shows lifestyle issues abounding among the top 10 reasons for parting with a restaurant employer last year.

Here are the gender-specific lists:

Top 10 reasons female managers leave

1. Better opportunity

2. Unemployed

3. Relocation

4. Not satisfied

5. No growth

6. Long...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code