Tesco to remove ‘best before’ dates to cut down on food waste

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Tesco is set to remove ‘best before’ consumption guidance dates off close to 70 fruit and vegetable lines in its latest move to help reduce food waste.

The move is being made to help prevent perfectly edible food from being thrown away.

It follows a recent campaign by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) into causes of food waste which found that less than half of respondents understood the meaning of ‘best before’ dates.

Despite this, more than 70 per cent of people polled by NFWI correctly identified the meaning of ‘use by’ labels which have to be put on all foods where there is a health-safety risk if they are eaten after that date.

‘Best before’ labels are put on foods by retailers as a quality indication to show that, although they are no longer at their best, they are still good to eat.

“We know some customers may be confused by the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates on food and this can lead to perfectly edible items being thrown away before they need to be discarded,” Tesco Head of Food Waste Reduction Mark Little said.

“We have made this change to fruit and vegetable packaging as they are among the most wasted foods.”

Tesco will remove the labels from popular fruit and vegetable lines such as apples, potatoes, tomatoes, lemons and other citrus fruit and onions.