August 9, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Waste: British supermarket removes best before date on 500 products

Waste: British supermarket removes best before date on 500 products

London | British supermarkets Waitrose announced on Monday that it will withdraw the recommended use-by dates on around 500 products, in order not to discourage its customers from still eating good food and thereby fight against food waste.

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From September, Waitrose will remove the ‘best before’ labels on around 500 fresh products, particularly fruit and vegetables in packaging, which indicate a product’s safe-to-eat date, the company said in a statement.

Waste: British supermarket removes best before date on 500 products

The measure “aims to reduce the amount of food waste in UK households by asking consumers to make a judgment call when deciding whether a product is still edible”, the high-end supermarket chain added.

“Food waste is still a major problem” and British households “throw away 4.5 million tonnes of edible food every year”, said Marija Rompani, director of sustainability at John Lewis department store group, parent company of Waitrose.

The “best before” indicator is essentially linked to the taste or nutritional quality of the product and corresponds to the “minimum durability date” in France.

On the other hand, the mention of “use by” (use by) on perishable products is mandatory and its non-respect also poses health risks like expiry date in the channel.

According to Waitrose, “We estimate that removing dates on fresh fruit and vegetables could save 7 million baskets of food from the bin.

The company is following in the footsteps of sector giant Tesco, which removed the recommended use-by dates on 100 products from 2018, or other British brands, which recently did the same on 300 recommendations of Marks and Spencer.

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Morrisons, another supermarket chain, announced in January that it was removing the recommended best-before date from 90% of its private label milk, encouraging consumers to sniff the contents of the bottle.