Food labels and food waste - Do you know your ‘Use by’ from your ‘Best before’ dates?

At household level, it’s estimated that up to a third of food waste is linked to date labelling on food products. A European survey conducted in 2015 of 26,601 participants found that half (49%) of European consumers think that better and clearer information on the meaning of ‘Best before’ and ‘Use by’ dates would help them waste less food at home (European Commission, 2015). There is a legal requirement that most foods require either a ‘Use by’ date (where there’s a food safety risk if the food is consumed after the date), or a ‘Best before’ date (to indicate the point after which the food may not be at its best quality). Foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables which haven’t been peeled

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