Text: H.R.3981 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/25/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3981 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3981

 To establish requirements for quality and discard dates that are, at 
the option of food labelers, included in food packaging, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 25, 2019

  Ms. Pingree (for herself and Mr. Newhouse) introduced the following 
 bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and 
    in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to be 
subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration 
  of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee 
                               concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To establish requirements for quality and discard dates that are, at 
the option of food labelers, included in food packaging, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Food Date Labeling Act of 2019''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Administering secretaries.--The term ``administering 
        Secretaries'' means--
                    (A) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to 
                any product that is under the Secretary of 
                Agriculture's jurisdiction and is--
                            (i) a poultry product, as defined in 
                        section 4 of the Poultry Products Inspection 
                        Act (21 U.S.C. 453);
                            (ii) a meat food product, as defined in 
                        section 1 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act 
                        (21 U.S.C. 601); or
                            (iii) an egg product, as defined in section 
                        4 of the Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 
                        1033); and
                    (B) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with 
                respect to any product that is under the Secretary of 
                Health and Human Services' jurisdiction and is a food 
                (as defined in section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, 
                and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 321)).
            (2) Discard date.--The term ``discard date'' means a date 
        voluntarily printed on food packaging, which signifies the end 
        of the estimated period of shelf life under any stated storage 
        conditions, after which the food labeler advises the product 
        not be consumed.
            (3) Food labeler.--The term ``food labeler'' means the 
        producer, manufacturer, distributor, or retailer that places a 
        date label on food packaging of a product.
            (4) Quality date.--The term ``quality date'' means a date 
        voluntarily printed on food packaging that is intended to 
        communicate to consumers the date after which--
                    (A) the quality of the product may begin to 
                deteriorate; but
                    (B) the product remains apparently wholesome food 
                (as defined in subsection (b)(2) of section 22 of the 
                Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1791(b)(2)); 
                also known as the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food 
                Donation Act).

SEC. 3. QUALITY DATES AND DISCARD DATES.

    (a) Quality Dates.--
            (1) In general.--If a food labeler includes a quality date 
        on food packaging, the label shall use the uniform quality date 
        label phrase under paragraph (2).
            (2) Uniform phrase.--The uniform quality date label phrase 
        under this paragraph shall be ``BEST If Used By'' or, if 
        permissible under subsection (c)(3), the standard abbreviation 
        of ``BB'', unless and until the administering Secretaries, 
        acting jointly, specify through rulemaking another uniform 
        phrase to be used for purposes of complying with paragraph (1).
            (3) Option of the labeler.--The decisions on whether to 
        include a quality date on food packaging and which foods should 
        be so labeled shall be at the discretion of the food labeler.
    (b) Discard Dates.--
            (1) In general.--If a food labeler includes a discard date 
        on food packaging, the label shall use the uniform discard date 
        label phrase under paragraph (2).
            (2) Uniform phrase.--The uniform discard date label phrase 
        under this paragraph shall be ``USE By'' or, if permissible 
        under subsection (c)(3), the standard abbreviation of ``UB'', 
        unless and until the administering Secretaries, acting jointly, 
        specify through rulemaking another uniform phrase to be used 
        for purposes of complying with paragraph (1).
            (3) Option of the labeler.--The decisions on whether to 
        include a discard date on food packaging and which foods should 
        be so labeled shall be at the discretion of the food labeler.
    (c) Quality Date and Discard Date Labeling.--
            (1) In general.--The quality date or discard date, as 
        applicable, and immediately adjacent uniform quality date label 
        phrase or discard date label phrase--
                    (A) shall be--
                            (i) in single easy-to-read type style; and
                            (ii) located in a conspicuous place on the 
                        package of the food; and
                    (B) may be on the label or, at the discretion of 
                the food labeler, elsewhere on the package.
            (2) Date format.--Each quality date and discard date shall 
        be stated in terms of day and month and, as appropriate, year.
            (3) Abbreviations.--A food labeler may use a standard 
        abbreviation of ``BB'' and ``UB'' for the quality date and 
        discard date, respectively, only if the food packaging is too 
        small to include the uniform phrase described in subsection 
        (a)(2) or (b)(2), as applicable.
            (4) Freeze by.--A food labeler may add ``or Freeze By'' 
        following a quality date or discard date uniform phrase.
    (d) Infant Formula.--This Act and the amendments made by this Act--
            (1) do not apply with respect to infant formula (as defined 
        in section 201(z) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act 
        (21 U.S.C. 321(z))); and
            (2) shall not be construed to affect the requirements 
        pertaining to infant formula under section 412 of the Federal 
        Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 350a) and other 
        applicable provisions of law.
    (e) Education.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the administering Secretaries, acting jointly, shall 
provide consumer education and outreach on the meaning of quality date 
and discard date food labels.
    (f) Rule of Construction; Preemption.--
            (1) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this Act or the 
        amendments made by this Act shall be construed to prohibit any 
        State or political subdivision of a State from establishing or 
        continuing in effect any requirement that prohibits the sale or 
        donation of foods based on passage of the discard date.
            (2) Preemption.--No State or political subdivision of a 
        State may establish or continue in effect any requirement 
        that--
                    (A) relates to the inclusion in food labeling of a 
                quality date or a discard date that is different from 
                or in addition to, or that is otherwise not identical 
                with, the requirements of this Act and the amendments 
                made by this Act; or
                    (B) prohibits the sale or donation of foods based 
                on passage of the quality date.
            (3) Enforcement.--The administering Secretaries, acting 
        jointly and in coordination with the Federal Trade Commission, 
        shall ensure that the uniform quality date label phrase and 
        uniform discard date label phrase are standardized across all 
        food products.
            (4) Savings.--Notwithstanding paragraph (2), nothing in 
        this Act, nor any amendment made by this Act, nor any standard 
        or requirement imposed pursuant to this Act, shall be construed 
        to preempt, displace, or supplant any State or Federal common 
        law rights or any State or Federal statute creating a remedy 
        for civil relief, including those for civil damage, or a 
        penalty for criminal conduct.
    (g) Time Temperature Indicator Labels.--Nothing in this Act or the 
amendments made by this Act shall be construed to prohibit or restrict 
the use of time-temperature indicator labels or similar technology that 
is in addition to or in lieu of any uniform quality date label phrase 
under subsection (a)(2) or uniform discard date label phrase under 
subsection (b)(2).

SEC. 4. MISBRANDING.

    (a) FDA Violations.--Section 403 of the Federal Food, Drug, and 
Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 343) is amended by adding at the end the 
following:
    ``(z) If it is food and its labeling is in violation of section 3 
of the Food Date Labeling Act of 2019.''.
    (b) Poultry Products.--Section 4(h) of the Poultry Products 
Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 453(h)) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (11), by striking ``or'' at the end;
            (2) in paragraph (12), by striking the period at the end 
        and inserting ``; or''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(13) if its labeling is in violation of section 3 of the 
        Food Date Labeling Act of 2019.''.
    (c) Meat Products.--Section 1(n) of the Federal Meat Inspection Act 
(21 U.S.C. 601(n)) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (11), by striking ``or'' at the end;
            (2) in paragraph (12), by striking the period at the end 
        and inserting ``; or''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(13) if its labeling is in violation of section 3 of the 
        Food Date Labeling Act of 2019.''.
    (d) Egg Products.--Section 7(b) of the Egg Products Inspection Act 
(21 U.S.C. 1036(b)) is amended in the first sentence by adding before 
the period at the end ``or if its labeling is in violation of section 3 
of the Food Date Labeling Act of 2019''.

SEC. 5. REGULATIONS.

    Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
Secretaries, acting jointly, shall promulgate final regulations for 
carrying out the provisions of this Act and the amendments made by this 
Act.

SEC. 6. DELAYED APPLICABILITY.

    This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall apply only with 
respect to food products that are labeled on or after the date that is 
2 years after the date of promulgation of final regulations under 
section 5.
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