ventura sellby 010524SPRINGFIELD – A new law from State Senator Rachel Ventura will promote standardization on food labels and reduce food waste across the state.

“We are working to reduce food waste and help our neighbors stretch their dollar by providing clearer information on food labels,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “As we see buying power decrease due to inflation and grocery bills increasing, we need to think of alternatives to save people from guessing whether their food is safe to consume.”

House Bill 3849 defines "quality date," "safety date" and "sell by date" and requires the Illinois Departments of Agriculture and Public Health to publish information to encourage food manufacturers, processors and retailers to voluntarily use uniform terms on food product labels to communicate quality and safety dates.

“Quality date” will be defined as the date when the food quality begins to deteriorate but remains safe to consume. “Safety date” will be the date by which the food should be consumed or frozen and the “sell by date” is intended to inform a retailer when it is time to pull a product from the shelf.

“The law will provide accurate information for consumers about their food and help clear up confusion surrounding expiration dates,” said Ventura. “This legislation will help with food waste, as well as alleviate food insecurities in some communities.”

House Bill 3849 went into effect Jan. 1, 2024.