Supermarkets are removing best before dates on fresh food

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High street favorite Marks & Spencer has announced that they will be removing “best before” dates from 300 different fruit and vegetable items in their store. This is an attempt to cut down on food waste. The change has been active for a few weeks now.

The supermarket chain has proposed the new measure would impact 85% of the supermarket’s fresh produce and rely on customer reviews to determine if fresh vegetables are still good to consume.

The “Best before” days tend to focus on the form and aesthetics of the dish. However, the “use before” date indicates a safety risk if ignored. Therefore, best before the date is discarded will not determine the safety of the food.

But M&S ​​is not the first supermarket to make such a decision. Tesco announced best-before-dates on their labels manufactured in 2018. Lidl and Morrison’s have also dropped these dates in an effort to cut down on food waste.

Morrison’s even suggests customers use a “sniff test” to determine if a food is safe to eat or drink. Specifically, they asked customers to smell cow’s milk to determine if it was still drinkable, even if it had passed the expiration date on the package.

Just this week, Waitrose announced a similar move. Nearly 500 fresh items would be the best before label removal. Supermarkets are urging customers to use their own initiative and judgment.

Experts at the Waste & Resources Action Program (Wrap) say a “best before” date for fruit and vegetables is unnecessary and contributes to climate change. According to Wrap, potatoes are the most wasted food in the UK, followed by bread and milk.

What are your thoughts on this move? Leave a comment below. We want to hear your thoughts!

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