Best before dates are set to be scrapped on nearly 500 fresh products at Waitrose to cut down on food waste.
From September, the supermarket will stop using the guidance on fruit and vegetables such as grapes, apples, tomatoes and peppers.
That will encourage households to use their own judgment over whether food is fit to eat or not.
It comes after Marks & Spencer removed best before dates from more than 300 fruit and vegetable products last month.
From September, the supermarket will stop using the guidance on fruit and vegetables such as grapes, apples, tomatoes and peppers
Morrisons scrapped use-by dates from 90 per cent of its own-brand milk in January, encouraging its customers to use a ‘sniff test’ instead. Tesco got rid of the dates on more than 100 fresh food products in 2018.
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) charity says removing dates on fresh fruit and vegetables could save the equivalent of 7million shopping baskets of food from being thrown away.
Catherine David, director of collaboration and change at WRAP, said: ‘Best before dates on fruit and veg are unnecessary and create food waste because they get in the way of people using their judgment when food is still good to eat. We are absolutely delighted by this move from Waitrose which will help stop good food ending up in the bin.’
Best before dates are set to be scrapped on nearly 500 fresh products at Waitrose to cut down on food waste
Best before dates are designed to indicate food quality, rather than how safe it is eat. In contrast, use-by dates are provided for safety and could result in food poisoning if ignored on foods which have not been frozen before or on the date in question.
Marija Rompani, director of sustainability and ethics at John Lewis Partnership, which owns Waitrose, said yesterday: ‘UK households throw away 4.5million tonnes of edible food every year, meaning that all the energy and resources used in food production is wasted.’
She added: ‘By removing best before dates from our products, we want our customers to use their own judgment to decide whether a product is good to eat or not, which in turn will increase its chances of being eaten and not becoming waste.’