SUPERMARKETS are making major changes to best before dates on hundreds of groceries – we explain all you need to know.
Asda is the latest supermarket to ditch the dates from almost 250 of its fresh fruit and vegetable products.
Best-before dates are put on foods as a guide to quality, not safety.
That means you can eat the food after the figure printed, but it might not be as tasty.
Asda will put in place the changes across all its UK stores from September 1.
Instead, a new code will replace all dates and staff will be able to use it to check the quality and freshness of items.
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It comes as charity Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) called best before dates on fruit and veg packaging "unnecessary", and contributed to climate change.
Around 6.6million tonnes of food shopping is thrown away by households each year, the charity estimates.
Asda's head of technical produce said: "Reducing food waste in our business and in customers’ homes is a priority and we are always looking at different ways to achieve this."
We round up the full list of supermarkets that have made major changes to the way they are labelling products.
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We've also asked supermarkets not on the list whether they will be following suit – we'll update this article when we know more.
Tesco ditched best before dates on its own brand of fruit and veg back in 2018.
It said removing the dates would stop shoppers confusing the use-by date with the best-before date.
Eating food after its use by date (unless it has been frozen on or before its use by date) could result in food poisoning.
Tesco said shoppers the mix-up was causing households to throw perfectly good food away.
From September, Waitrose will also be ditching best before dates on fruit and veg.
These dates would also be taken off indoor and outdoor plants.
Use by dates will still be in place across products for safety at Waitrose – so make sure you don’t accidentally eat the wrong thing and get sick.
See exactly which products dates will be removed from in our handy explainer.
Marks & Spencer
Over 300 fruit and veg products no longer have best before dates on them at Marks & Spencer.
Like Asda, M&S has a code which workers use to monitor quality of items.
The shop aims to encourage customers to use their judgement when throwing away food.
It has a target to halve food waste in stores by 2030.
Morrisons scrapped the "use by" dates on milk in January.
It has asked customers to use a sniff test to check if milk has gone off instead.
Only best before dates on 90% of its own-brand milk packaging are now included.
According to WRAP, milk is the third most wasted food and drink product in the UK after potatoes and bread.
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