What Date Labels On Food Can, And Can’t, Tell You

Be sure to offer healthy choices 80 to 90 percent of the time, and let your child decide if he or she is still hungry for more. Even if your child is overweight or obese, limiting the amount of food can set your kid up for unhealthy habits in the future. 12. Giving too many or not enough treats Whether you let your kid dip into the cookie jar a few times a day, or put limits on them for special occasions only, you have to be careful because balance is so important when it comes to wellness, said Lemond, who added that a treat a day is okay. 13. Using food as a reward Giving your kid a cookie after he or she takes a tumble could lead to unhealthy food behaviors in the future. A hug, praise, or a non-food reward is a better way to handle it. 14. Eating differently than your kids do If you snub Brussels sprouts, your kid probably wont eat them either. Plus, eating healthy yourself will make you a healthier mom. If you really believe in this healthy lifestyle, youre going to also take time to feed yourself, Lemond said.

Chicken Processed in China Triggers U.S. Food Safety Protests

A container from a different brand had a “best-by” date. Even though nearly all consumers make some decisions about what to throw away based on those stamped dates, they cannot rely on them, said Gunders, food and agriculture staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She is the coauthor of a report issued by the NRDC and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic calling for changes to make the dates more useful. Currently, those dates are manufacturers’ suggestions for when an item is at its peak or are efforts to help stores manage their inventory not indications of food safety, the report says. Here’s what those labels mean, according to the report: “Best by” or “best if used by”: The manufacturer’s estimate of when the food will no longer be at highest quality. “Use by”: An estimate of the last date it’s at peak quality. “Sell by”: The manufacturer’s suggested date to the grocer to no longer sell a product, based on the idea that it will still be good quality for a “reasonable” time if purchased on that date. Still, more than 90% of Americans say they use those dates to decide whether to discard food, leading to tons of wasted food each year, the report notes. “I don’t know of any data that consuming a product beyond the date has caused illness,” said Labuza, a professor of food science and engineering at the University of Minnesota who has studied shelf life for decades. His sour cream was OK because he keeps his refrigerator at 34 degrees. He recommends consumers let theirs go no higher than 40 degrees and get a thermometer to make sure. Even at that temperature, listeria can grow, he cautioned. But that is not related to those stamped dates.

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The U.S. doesnt currently import poultry from China. Theres a concern that this might be the first step to that, Chris Waldrop, director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America in Washington, said by phone. Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) , the largest U.S. meat processor, chicken producer Sanderson Farms Inc. (SAFM) , and McDonalds Corp. (MCD) , the worlds largest restaurant chain, are among companies that dont plan to import processed chicken from China, according to company officials. Stronger Safeguards That hasnt stopped Democrats in Congress, including Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, from seeking assurances from the USDA that food supplies will be safe. New Yorks Schumer has asked for additional audits of Chinese plants and more inspections of U.S. meat imports. There is precedent for an accord for China to process U.S. food items.

Some food aid funneled through states will continue if the government shuts down

(Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post.) Yesterday we cited a report that predicted federal food aid funneled through the states would dry up quickly if Congress fails to pass a bill authorizing some funding beyond Oct. 1. Well, the Department of Agriculture now says that thats true for some programs, but not for all. In a document outlining its contingency plan for a potential shutdown next week, USDA said funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits formerly known as food stamps will continue in Octoberunder authority granted by the 2009 stimulus bill. In addition, the agency said, states might still also be able to receive partial reimbursements for related administrative costs from a $2 billion contingency fund. Child nutrition programs including School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Feeding, Summer Food Service and Special Milk will also continue into October, the USDA said. But not all federal food aid will continue, though advocates say many states may pick up the tab. Federal funding for administration and benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children which provides grants to states for food aid, health care referrals and nutrition education for some low-income women and children will cease if the government shuts down. While the USDA report says states may only have enough leftover funds for a week or so, advocates believe that many states may choose to fund the program beyond that. Those concerned about whether benefits will be available should call program administrators to get the most up-to-date information, they say. Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post’s state and local policy blog.