ASPPH logo


Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Johns Hopkins: Student Pens FoodDive Column Calling for Standardized Food Label Legislation To Address Food Waste

Ms. Maya Sandalow, a master of public health candidate studying health policy and food systems at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, urges federal lawmakers to enact a standardized food labeling system that would allow consumers to distinguish between quality versus safety dates.

As much as 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. each year is never eaten, and more than 52 million tons of food ends up in U.S. landfills. Writing in a March 27 piece in FoodDive, Ms. Sandalow notes that a cost-effective food waste reduction strategy stares us in the face every time we inspect that milk carton — standardized date labels. She references a recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future suggesting that consumer confusion over food dates is linked to food waste.

She cites legislation introduced in 2016 in the 114th Congress and expected to be reintroduced again, that called upon the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S.

Department of Agriculture (USDA) to differentiate between quality and safety dates and to allow stores to sell or donate a product after expiration of its quality date. The Food Date Labeling Act would also require USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to educate consumers on the new labels and the difference between quality and safety.

Read more