Tesco removes best before dates to help reduce food waste

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Around £13bn of edible food is thrown away from homes every year

Tesco has announced it will remove best before dates off nearly 70 fruit and vegetable lines to help reduce food waste.

The chain said it hopes the move will prevent perfectly edible food from being thrown away.

It is followed by a National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) campaign which found less than half of respondents understood the meaning of best before dates.

Yet more than 70% of people polled by NFWI correctly identified the meaning of use by labels, which are put on all foods where there is a safety risk if they are eaten after that date.

The Food Standards Agency states the best before date is about “quality not safety”.

Mark Little, Tesco head of food, said: “We have made this change to fruit and vegetable packaging as they are among the most wasted foods.

“Many customers have told us that they assess their fruit and vegetables by the look of the product rather than the best before date code on the packaging.”

Around £13bn of edible food is thrown away from homes every year, according to WRAP.

Tesco is a signatory of the Courtauld Commitment 2025, a voluntary agreement by several leading organisations that aims to meet the UN’s goal of halving food waste by 2030.

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