orange with media services, published on Tuesday, August 02, 2022 at 10:18 am
In a bid to combat food waste, UK supermarkets Waitrose have decided to remove the best before date on nearly 500 products, which could discourage its customers from consuming food that is still good.
From September, UK supermarket chain Waitrose will remove ‘best before’ labels, a target date beyond which the consumption of a product remains safe, to nearly 500 fresh produce, particularly packaged fruits and vegetables, the company announced in a press release published on Monday, August 1st.
This measure “aims to reduce the volume of food waste in UK households by encouraging customers to exercise judgement” when deciding whether a product is still edible, this high-end supermarket chain added.
“Food waste is still a big problem” and UK households ‘throw away 4.5 million tonnes of edible food every year’says Marija Rompani, director of sustainable development at department store group John Lewis, Waitrose’s parent company. “We believe that removing dates from fresh fruit and vegetables could save the equivalent of 7 million baskets of food from the landfill”like Waitrose.
Essentially linked to the taste or nutritional quality of a product, the best-before date is equivalent in France to the “best before” date. On the other hand, the “use by” (use before) notice that appears on perishable products is a mandatory notice and failure to comply carries health risks, as does the sell-by date across the Channel.
The company is following in the footsteps of other British brands, such as industry giant Tesco, which dropped recommended consumption dates for a hundred products from 2018, or more recently Marks and Spencer, who did the same for 300 references. . Morrisons, another supermarket chain, announced in January it would be dropping the sell-by date rather than the recommended date for 90% of its store-brand milk, and encouraged customers to smell the contents of the bottle to know it’s always good.