The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC), in partnership with Racing Horse Productions, has released a short film, “EXPIRED? Food Waste in America,” that explores how the variety of date labels on food products contributes to food waste in America.
The film profiles the effects of a Montana state law that requires all milk to be labeled with a sell-by date no later than twelve days after pasteurization. After the sell-by date passes, the milk may not be sold or donated. As a result of the law, thousands of gallons of milk have been thrown away and milk prices in the state have risen.
As the film shows, however, milk remains safe to drink beyond twelve days. In most states milk is dated up to 21 or even 28 days after pasteurization, but as long as the milk has been pasteurized, even spoiled milk is unlikely to make people sick.
The film highlights the Montana law as an extreme example of a national problem.