Sainsbury's is to make changes to its product labels in an effort to reduce food waste, The Guardian reports.
The supermarket behemoth is to revise advice regarding when food can be frozen, which currently stands at the day of purchase. New labels will tell consumers that they may freeze the product at any time within its 'use-by' period.
Sainsbury's head of product development, Beth Hart, says there is no food safety reason why food should be frozen immediately and as one of the UK's leading grocers, they have an obligation to "minimise food waste where possible."
Research by the government's Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) found that 60 per cent of consumers believed that food must be frozen on day of purchase and that British households unnecessarily throw away approximately 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink annually.
They found that just 21 per cent of consumers would freeze food nearer the end of it's use-by date. They welcomed Sainsbury's initiative, BBC News writes, as "good news for hard-pressed family budgets".
WRAP believes that by changing the standard advice, it could prevent some 800,000 tonnes of food being wasted, the equivalent of £2 billion each year, through changing consumer behaviour.
Ms Hart concluded: "There is no food safety reason why it cannot be frozen at any point prior to the use-by date. As one customer pointed out to me while discussing the previous labelling, 'How does the product know which day I purchased it on?'"