Section 82001.

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(a) The Department of Food and Agriculture, in consultation with the State Department of Public Health, shall, on or before July 1, 2018, publish information to encourage food manufacturers, processors, and retailers responsible for the labeling of food products to voluntarily use the following uniform terms on food product labels to communicate quality dates and safety dates:

(1) “BEST if Used by” or “BEST if Used or Frozen by” to indicate the quality date of a product.

(2) “USE by” or “USE by or Freeze by” to indicate the safety date of a product.

(b) The department shall promote the consistent use of the terms specified pursuant to subdivision (a) in the course of its existing interactions with food manufacturers, processors, and retailers.

(c) In the process of implementing subdivision (a), the department shall encourage food distributors and retailers to develop alternatives to consumer-facing “sell by” dates.

(d) (1) The department may accept nonstate funds from public and private sources to educate consumers about the meaning of the quality dates and safety dates specified in this section.

(2) Funds accepted by the department pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be deposited in the Consumer Education Account, which is hereby created in the Department of Food and Agriculture Fund.

(3) Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, all funds in the Consumer Education Account are hereby continuously appropriated to the department without regard to fiscal years to carry out the purpose provided in paragraph (1).

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 787, Sec. 2. (AB 954) Effective January 1, 2018.)

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