Congress members want to simplify food expiration dates

PORTLAND, Maine (AP)  A pair of U.S. representatives from different parties and opposite ends of the country are introducing a bill intended to curb consumer confusion about food date labeling.

Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine and Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington are proposing the Food Date Labeling Act. They say the proposal's geared at reducing food waste by eliminating confusion over when food spoils.

The representatives say the federal government lacks regulations about date labels on food products other than infant formula. They say that has led to a patchwork of state-based regulations that can be confusing for consumers.

Their proposal would establish ``Best If Used By'' to inform the consumer of when the product might start to deteriorate. ``Use By'' would make clear when a product's shelf life is over.