Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Mar 1, 2019


Johns Hopkins investigators, surveying US consumer behaviors, reports that more than half of those questioned had key misconceptions about the date labeling found on food.  As a result, US Agriculture Department estimates nearly one-third of food is wasted at the retail and consumer levels.

The latest standards for food labeling use the term “Best if used by” to indicate the date after which food’s quality and taste may decline.  In contrast, the term “Use by” is the date after which it is unsafe to consume the food.

The Hopkins study also reveals how likely people are to respond to the date warnings.  Nearly 70% of respondents tossed raw chicken on time, a little over 60% discarded deli meats or prepared foods, and only 49% dumped soft cheese.  

These stats are worrisome since deli meats and soft cheeses have a high risk of bacterial contamination with listeria as they sit in the fridge.  On the other hand, raw chicken will be safe even after the expiration date if you thoroughly cook it.

Food poisoning can be devastating for even healthy adults.  If it occurs in children or older adults, it may be deadly.


#foodsafety #expirationdates #foodlabeling #delineat #softcheese #healthnews

Roni A. Neff, Marie Spiker, Christina Rice, Alexandra Schklair, Sally Greenberg, Emily Broad Leib. Misunderstood food date labels and reported food discards: A survey of U.S. consumer attitudes and behaviors. Waste Management, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2019.01.023