Happy New Year!!! Greetings and welcome to the Patriot Express Newsletter Edition #144. Thanks for sharing your time with us here at the PENL and Hope for Survival. We welcome readers daily from around America and beyond. It is interesting the increased number of new people who are finding interest in preparedness. We are happy to have you with us.
Thursday Zoom Rallies – No Zoom Rally this week. The next zoom will be January 20, 2022
HFS Digital Football Sticks - The feedback on this product has been outstanding. It is a tool to help the individual or family preparer consolidate critical documents on one device. The stick is already set up with numerous file folders such as bank records, marriage certificates, deeds, titles, loans, passports, births, graduation diplomas.....and more. Several of the folders you see below will include sub-folders to break out the specific title.
You simply place your scanned document in the proper folder for storage. When you travel away from home or evacuate because of a disaster you now have all your important documents available on the football stick. It is also waterproof. You can order one or multiple sticks through the HFS website for $25.00 per stick.
Hope for Survival YouTube and Odysee Channels- If you have not already, please consider subscribing to the HFS YouTube and HFS Odysee channels. We would appreciate your consideration. Because I still work a full-time day job, time is limited, and I have not been able to set up a routine schedule for recording and posting videos yet. Thanks for hanging with me. Share the link with family and friends.
HFS Mobile Training:
If you would like HFS to come to your community to conduct training classes or speak on the importance of preparedness, feel free to contact me.
Joppa, AL - Jan 15, 2022 Preparedness Training 9 AM - 3 PM
Communications: You can now follow HFS social media on the following outlets:
Facebook – Hope for Survival
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Odysee - Hope for Survival (odysee.com)
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Connect and give me a shout. Share with family and friends.
Guest and Newcomers
If you are a guest or newcomer to the HFS journey, please check out this link for additional
information offered through HFS. https://www.hopeforsurvival.com/post/guest-and-newcomers-information-page
Hope for Survival books: You can obtain information on the two HFS books at this link: Survival, Preparedness, Disaster Management for individuals or family (hopeforsurvival.com)
Hope for Survival - How Food, Water, Shelter, and Security Could Save Your Life (Book 1)
Hope for Survival - The Mindset (Book 2)
We must make this brief public announcement to protect the innocent.
Ding, Ding, Ding....Attention HFS readers..... Opinions shared in this newsletter are just that, opinions, and nothing more. Read at your own risk. The owner and author of this site is not responsible for hurt feelings or thin-skinned readers. I do my best to show restraint and respect to the best extent possible. I take as many precautions as possible and try to remain as nonpolitical as possible, however, there are times when I just can't help but point certain things out. Occasionally I use words only Patriots recognize and understand. It's not personal against any non-Patriot. It's just the truth. Sometimes we must pull up our spenders and suck it up. Just saying. Stay the course, read what you want, and avoid the rest. Avoid fear porn as much as possible and the day will be okay. When all else fails… Keep the faith and always have Hope.
Let’s move along and get to some thoughts...
Thoughts for the week –
When time permits, I frequent a webpage on another platform discussing stocking food type resources. A question I often see is someone asking what to do with store purchased canned food that will expire in the next couple weeks. Of course, I cringe a bit to think of good quality food being tossed or taken out of food rotation. Then I wonder how much money preparers are wasting mainly because they are not educated on the canned food "date" meaning and category designations. I decided to do a little digging to gather information to share here.
The USA is one of the world leaders in food waste. According to The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service, 30% of all food waste comes from the retailer and consumer level.1 That comes down to Americans throwing away 133 billion pounds of food every year — worth about $161 billion dollars annually.2 Packing and manufacturing companies use different terms on products to tell the consumer “when the food goes bad.” This is voluntary and not a regulation. It’s common to see: Sell by: Use by: and Best if used by:
A survey was conducted in 2007 to see if U.S. consumers could understand the difference between these three commonly-used terms. Less than half were able to make the distinction between the three.3
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that food waste in the U.S. often came from people throwing away food in fear of it going bad or out of date based on the package labeling.4 In total, about 20% of all food waste being thrown away was food that wasn’t actually bad.5 Our government, the food industry, and non-profit organizations are all taking action to reduce consumer confusion around the meaning of date labels on foods. For example, research has shown that the “Best if Used by” phrase tells the consumer the date in which the product will be at its best.1
When your food actually goes bad often depends on how it’s stored and cared for after purchase. If the food was taken care of, it should be safe to eat after the quality date on the package label.4
The USDA issued an updated way to date products in 2016. Today, they encourage food manufacturers to apply “Best if Used By” labelling to tell the customer when the product will be at its best.1 On top of that, the USDA says if the food does not exhibit signs of spoilage, it is still wholesome, and it’s safe for the consumer to eat, donate, and purchase.1
In 2017, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) worked with 25 food companies to make the process of labeling more streamlined and straightforward. The group decided that “Best if Used by” was the best language to use because it isn’t as misleading as the wording “Use by.” If a product is beyond the “Best if Used by” date, it doesn’t mean that it’s spoiled yet. It just means that it may not taste as good as it could have — but, it is safe to eat.6
A year later, they conducted another survey. They found that, now, close to 80% of consumers claimed they understood the date labeling after a year of consistent date labeling.6 The label “Use by” is still used when it’s highly likely the food will spoil and not be safe to eat after a certain date.
With consistency and communication, the clear labeling of food and common understanding of what the date means leads to less food waste and lower prices for consumers.
USDA “Food Product Dating.” Available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safetyeducation/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/food-labeling/food-product-dating/food-product-dating
USDA “Tips for Reducing Food Wates and Preventing Illness.” April 18, 2016. Available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/news-releases-statements-transcripts/news-release-archives-byyear/archive/2016/nr-041816-01
Kosa, Katherine, et al. (2007) Consumer Knowledge and Use of Open Dates: Results of a Web-Based Survey. Journal of Food Protection, 70:5, 1213-1219. Available at: https://jfoodprotection.org/doi/pdf/10.4315/0362-028X70.5.1213
FDA “How to Cut Food Waste and Maintain Food Safety.” Available at: https://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm529381.htm
ReFed “Standardized Date Labeling.” Available at https://www.refed.com/solutions/standardized-date-labeling
Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), “Best if Clearly Labeled: How the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry is Reducing Confusion and Food Waste.” Available at: https://www.gmaonline.org/filemanager/Best%20if%20Clearly%20Labeled%20FINAL%20Small%20File.pdf
Next we have information from the Us Department of Agriculture:
Food Product Dating
"Best if Used By" is a type of date you might find on a meat, poultry, or egg product label. Are dates required on these food products? Does it mean the product will be unsafe to use after that date? Here is some background information answering these and other questions about product dating.
What is Food Product Dating?
Two types of product dating may be shown on a product label. "Open Dating" is a calendar date applied to a food product by the manufacturer or retailer. The calendar date provides consumers with information on the estimated period of time for which the product will be of best quality and to help the store determine how long to display the product for sale. “Closed Dating” is a code that consists of a series of letters and/or numbers applied by manufacturers to identify the date and time of production.
Does Federal Law Require Food Product Dating?
Except for infant formula, product dating is not required by Federal regulations.
For meat, poultry, and egg products under the jurisdiction of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), dates may be voluntarily applied provided they are labeled in a manner that is truthful and not misleading and in compliance with FSIS regulations. To comply, a calendar date must express both the month and day of the month. In the case of shelf-stable and frozen products, the year must also be displayed. Additionally, immediately adjacent to the date must be a phrase explaining the meaning of that date such as "Best if Used By."
Are Dates for Food Safety or Food Quality?
Manufacturers provide dating to help consumers and retailers decide when food is of best quality. Except for infant formula, dates are not an indicator of the product’s safety and are not required by Federal law.
How Do Manufacturers Determine Quality Dates?
Factors including the length of time and the temperature at which a food is held during distribution and offered for sale, the characteristics of the food, and the type of packaging will affect how long a product will be of optimum quality. Manufacturers and retailers will consider these factors when determining the date for which the product will be of best quality.
For example, sausage formulated with certain ingredients used to preserve the quality of the product or fresh beef packaged in a modified atmosphere packaging system that helps ensure that the product will stay fresh for as long as possible. These products will typically maintain product quality for a longer period of time because of how the products are formulated or packaged.
The quality of perishable products may deteriorate after the date passes; however, such products should still be safe if handled properly. Consumers must evaluate the quality of the product prior to its consumption to determine if the product shows signs of spoilage.
What Types of Food Are Dated?
Open dating is found on most foods including meat, poultry, egg and dairy products. "Closed or coded dates" are a series of letters and/or numbers and typically appear on shelf-stable products such as cans and boxes of food.
What Date-Labeling Phrases are Used?
There are no uniform or universally accepted descriptions used on food labels for open dating in the United States. As a result, there are a wide variety of phrases used on labels to describe quality dates.
Examples of commonly used phrases:
A "Best if Used By/Before" date indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
A "Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale for inventory management. It is not a safety date.
A “Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. It is not a safety date except for when used on infant formula as described below.
A “Freeze-By” date indicates when a product should be frozen to maintain peak quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
What Date-Labeling Phrase Does FSIS Recommend?
USDA estimates that 30 percent of the food supply is lost or wasted at the retail and consumer levels. One source of food waste arises from consumers or retailers throwing away wholesome food because of confusion about the meaning of dates displayed on the label. To reduce consumer confusion and wasted food, FSIS recommends that food manufacturers and retailers that apply product dating use a “Best if Used By” date. Research shows that this phrase conveys to consumers that the product will be of best quality if used by the calendar date shown. Foods not exhibiting signs of spoilage should be wholesome and may be sold, purchased, donated and consumed beyond the labeled "Best if Used By" date.
Are Foods Safe to Eat After the Date Passes?
With an exception of infant formula (described below), if the date passes during home storage, a product should still be safe and wholesome if handled properly until the time spoilage is evident (Chill: Refrigerate Promptly). Spoiled foods will develop an off odor, flavor or texture due to naturally occurring spoilage bacteria. If a food has developed such spoilage characteristics, it should not be eaten.
Microorganisms such as molds, yeasts, and bacteria can multiply and cause food to spoil. Viruses are not capable of growing in food and do not cause spoilage. There are two types of bacteria that can be found on food: pathogenic bacteria, which cause foodborne illness, and spoilage bacteria, which do not cause illness but do cause foods to deteriorate and develop unpleasant characteristics such as an undesirable taste or odor making the food not wholesome. When spoilage bacteria have nutrients (food), moisture, time, and favorable temperatures, these conditions will allow the bacteria to grow rapidly and affect the quality of the food. Food spoilage can occur much faster if food is not stored or handled properly. A change in the color of meat or poultry is not an indicator of spoilage (The Color of Meat and Poultry).
What Are the Requirements for Dating Infant Formula?
Federal regulations require a "Use-By" date on the product label of infant formula under inspection of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Consumption by this date ensures the formula contains not less than the quantity of each nutrient as described on the label. Formula must maintain an acceptable quality to pass through an ordinary bottle nipple.
The "Use-By" date is selected by the manufacturer, packer or distributor of the product on the basis of product analysis throughout its shelf life, tests, or other information. It is also based on the conditions of handling, storage, preparation, and use printed on the label. Do not buy or use baby formula after its "Use-By" date.
What Do Can Codes Mean?
Can codes are a type of closed dating which enable the tracking of product in interstate commerce. These codes also enable manufacturers to rotate their stock and locate their products in the event of a recall.
Can codes appear as a series of letters and/or numbers and refer to the date the product was canned. The codes are not meant for the consumer to interpret as a "Best if Used By" date.
Cans must exhibit a code or the date of canning. Cans may also display "open" or calendar dates. Usually these are "Best if Used By" dates for peak quality. Discard cans that are dented, rusted, or swollen. High-acid canned foods (e.g. tomatoes and fruits) will keep their best quality for 12 to 18 months. Whereas, low-acid canned foods (e.g. meats and vegetables) will keep for two to five years. Additional information on food canning and the handling of canned foods may be found at Shelf-Stable Food Safety.
Can Food Be Donated After the Date Passes?
Yes. The quality of perishable products may deteriorate after the date passes but the products should still be wholesome if not exhibiting signs of spoilage. Food banks, other charitable organizations, and consumers should evaluate the quality of the product prior to its distribution and consumption to determine whether there are noticeable changes in wholesomeness (Food Donation Safety Tips).
What Do the Dates on Egg Cartons Mean?
Use of either a "Sell-By" or "Expiration" (EXP) date is not a Federal regulation, but may be required, as defined by the egg laws in the state where the eggs are marketed. Some state egg laws do not allow the use of a "sell-by" date.
Many eggs reach stores only a few days after the hen lays them. Egg cartons with the USDA grade shield on them must display the "pack date" (the day that the eggs were washed, graded, and placed in the carton). This number is a three-digit code that represents the consecutive day of the year starting with January 1 as 001 and ending with December 31 as 365. When a "sell-by" date appears on a carton bearing the USDA grade shield, the code date may not exceed 30 days from the date of pack.
After purchasing eggs, it is recommended to refrigerate them in their original carton and place them in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the door due to loss of coolness from repeated opening of the door.
Why Are There Bar Codes on Food Packages?
A Universal Product Code (UPC) is a type of barcode that appears on packages as black lines of varying widths above a series of numbers. They are not required by regulation, but manufacturers print them on most product labels because scanners at supermarkets can "read" them quickly to record the price at checkout. UPC codes are also used by stores and manufacturers for inventory purposes and marketing information. When read by a computer, a UPC can reveal such specific information as the manufacturer's name, product name, size of product and price. The numbers are not used to identify recalled products.
A Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) code is a number assigned to a product by a company or retailer for stock-keeping purposes and internal operations. A particular product may have different SKUs if sold by different companies or retailers.
How Does Date Labeling Impact Food Waste?
Confusion over the meaning of dates applied to food products can result in consumers discarding wholesome food.
In an effort to reduce food waste, it is important that consumers understand that the dates applied to food are for quality and not for safety. Food products are safe to consume past the date on the label, and regardless of the date, consumers should evaluate the quality of the food product prior to its consumption.
Where Can I Find Information on the Proper Handling of Food?
If foods are mishandled, before or after the date on the package, bacteria, including pathogenic bacteria that can cause foodborne illness, can quickly multiply. For example, if cold chicken salad is taken to a picnic and left out at temperatures higher than 40oF (4.4oC) for more than two hours (one hour if temperatures are 90 oF (32.2 oC) or higher), the product should not be consumed. Other examples of potential mishandling are meat and poultry products that have been defrosted improperly or handled by people who don't practice good sanitation. Make sure to follow the handling and preparation instructions on the label to ensure top quality and safety. Additional information on safe food handling practices in the home can be found at Check Your Steps: Food Safe Families and The Big Thaw.
Food Safety Questions?
Call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline toll-free at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)
The Hotline is open year-round and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.
E-mail questions to MPHotline@usda.gov.
Consumers with food safety questions can also "AskUSDA," the FSIS virtual representative. Available 24/7 at AskUSDA.gov.
1 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires a “use by” date on infant formula. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not require quality or food safety date labels for products under its purview. However, the USDA does require a "pack date" for poultry products and thermally processed, commercially sterile products to help identify product lots and facilitate trace-back activities in the event of an outbreak of foodborne illness (see 9 CFR 381.126 and 431.2(e), respectively).
2 9 CFR 317.8, 381.129, and 590.411
And those are my thoughts for the week.
Preparedness News –
Other News -
That's all my Patriot brothers and sisters.
Prayers - Please keep our great nation, our elected leaders, military and first responders in your thoughts and prayers. We pray for good health and wisdom. Please pray for our leadership to find answers and guidance to the problems facing our great nation. May your faith remain strong and answers to the unknown provided. God is good and may our prayers blanket and protect you and your circumstances. I pray for each, and every one of our Patriots.
May we pray for all the blessings and things in life to be thankful about and continued hope for revival around the world. We must continually pray for the unsaved, our family and friends who live each day without the protection for eternal life and salvation.
Please pray for many of our HFS sisters and brothers who currently battle Covid-19. We pray for your strength and quick recovery. Take care of yourself and focus on you through this process.
Even with all the worldly challenges, struggles, and heartbreaks we must always give thanks for the blessings in our own life and our family each day. Life can be hard and sometimes unfair to us, but we still have many things to be thankful for each day. We must not forget them.
As we have prayer needs for answers to health and family matters, we also have prayers of thanks for recent health answers and recoveries.
We all must pray strong and often for the citizens of our great nation. Many of our sisters and brothers are struggling daily with things they witness, encounter, and are surprised with out of the norm. Many times, we are in unchartered areas, however, we still must keep our faith and focus on the big picture. Our prayers and faithful strength together will be required often to battle the evils being thrown upon all of us minute by minute.
As Patriots we must stay strong and never give up. Our home, community and nation needs us now more than ever. Stay focused on your local community and things that will impact you around the nation. Don't allow the events around you to create fear in your life. Build your own self-reliance and focus on hope. Remember we are a blessed nation and we must continue to be great people today and make a better tomorrow. Keep charging.
Bravo Echo Out,