You desperately need a cup of tea but your milk is past its use-by date. It smells fine – do you drink it? Currently 100 million pints of milk are wasted in Britain every year because of ‘use by’ labels, as well as millions of tonnes of other foods – many of which simply don’t require a date label.
Date labels cause confusion in households: there is a misunderstanding of the difference between ‘use-by’ and ‘best-before’, food items such as fresh produce have date labels when they do not require them, and date labels are in many cases overly cautious. The reality is that many thousands of tonnes of food are thrown away every week, despite still being perfectly safe to eat. Extending product life by only 24 hours could prevent 250,000 tonnes of food from being wasted.
We need a common-sense approach to date labelling, a carrot has never come out of the ground with a ‘best-before’ date on it, so supermarkets don’t need to cause confusion by adding one. Many products with ‘use-by’ dates, such as milk, could switch to ‘best-before’ dates. Supermarkets should take action to extend the shelf-life or products and review their date labelling policies to ensure they are realistic.
Today is World Milk Day - who knew right? It takes…
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