Is it ever OK to serve expired food?

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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. 

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Dining hall workers at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., have been asked to remove stickers worn in protest of working conditions at the school’s dining halls, The Stanford Daily reports.

School officials say that the stickers with the statement “Respect and a Fair Workload” go against a union-university agreement that states union members may not wear “insignia [with] any message that is vulgar, profane, or disparaging of Stanford, or that results in conflict or disruption in the workplace.”

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The School Nutrition Foundation has named its five School Nutrition Heroes for 2018.

The honorees were nominated by their peers and then selected by the SNF for helping end hunger for homeless and low-income students and their families.

Those chosen are:

Paula Angelucci, child nutrition director, Colonial School District; New Castle, Del. Anthony Terrell, culinary specialist, Shelby County Schools; Memphis, Tenn. April Laskey, director of school nutrition, Billerica Public Schools; Billerica, Mass. Lynne Shore, food service director, Willamina School District;...
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spring desserts

From Bistro Collection® Gourmet Desserts.

Consumers and operators alike often associate seasonal desserts with pumpkin pie, gingerbread and candy canes—after all, winter is a season closely associated with indulgence.

But after the winter holidays, when people are hitting the gym and holding themselves to New Year’s Resolution diets, desserts don’t get as much attention. For operators, this can mean a lag in sales of sweets—but it’s not a lost cause. Updating springtime dessert menus to reflect the change in what diners are looking for can generate excitement and boost...

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Sidney Central School District in Sidney, N.Y., has received $58,783 from the state to improve its farm-to-school program, The Daily Star reports.

The grant will be used to aid in appointing a farm-to-school coordinator and assistant who will help source local farm products for 10 districts in the region for NY Thursday, an initiative where cafeterias attempt to serve meals made entirely by local ingredients every Thursday.

The funding is part of a $12 million award spread among 12 districts throughout the state by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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