Sell-by dates set for the scrapheap

15th September 2011 - Fine Cut

Sell-by dates on food packaging are set to be scrapped in a bid to reduce food waste.

The UK wastes £12 million of edible food every year and the government believes confusing food labels are partially to blame.

From today, food labels will only contain either a 'best-before' or a 'use-by' date in order to make it perfectly clear how long customers have to consume their purchases.

In an interview with BBC News, environment secretary Caroline Spelman claimed that the move would help to reduce the alarming amount of food being needlessly thrown away by households.

She said: "We want to end the food labelling confusion and make it clear once and for all when food is good and safe to eat. This simpler and safer date labelling guide will help households cut down on the £12 billion worth of good food that ends up in the bin."

According to Mail Online, any food which are unsafe to eat after a certain period will feature 'use-by' dates whilst all the others will feature 'best-before' dates; indicating that they remain safe to eat.   

It is thought that supermarkets may begin using a colour coding scheme to indicate to staff how long they can display a product for.

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