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NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) –  This past week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released food labeling guidelines aimed at reducing the amount of good food that gets thrown out because people think it has gone bad.

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Just about every packaged product in the grocery store has a date on it. Some say “best by,” “use by” or “sell by.”

Sasha Stashwick with the National Resource Defense Council said nine out of 10 shoppers are confused by the different dates.

“The average family is actually throwing away about $1,500 a year in food that is perfectly good to eat,” she said.

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To clear up confusion the U.S. Department of Agriculture now wants just one label — “best if used by.” It’s asking egg, meat and dairy manufacturers to use it.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association would not say if they plan to adopt the label.

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