Food and DrinkRegulations & Policies

Tesco to end ‘best before’ dates on fresh produce

Tesco has announced it is to end best before date labels on 116 items as it aims to cut down on post-farmgate waste.

Earlier in the year, the supermarket removed the labels from nearly 70 fruit and vegetable products. The further items to see the stickers removed include its own brand apples, oranges, cabbages and asparagus. Food waste charities Wrap and IGD are aiming to have half of the UK’s largest 250 food businesses reporting and monitoring food waste.

Tesco head of food waste, Mark Little said: “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.

“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.”

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) says that its definition of best before relates to “quality and not safety” adding “food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best”.

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