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Co-op on a mission to reduce food waste

Words by Abi Scaife

Co-Op is ditching best-before dates on fresh produce.

Sorry, what?

In a bid to limit food waste, UK-based supermarket Co-Op is removing best-before dates from their fresh produce like fruit and vegetables.

Climate activists have petitioned ditching best-before dates for a long time, citing studies that show people often mix up ‘best before’ dates and ‘use by’ dates, which causes food to be wasted unnecessarily.

What’s the difference?

‘Use by’ dates let people know whether the food is safe to be consumed after a certain date - while with ‘best before’ dates there is a little wiggle room. 

‘Best before’ dates are a guideline, and you should observe the food products for unusual appearances, tastes and smells to help you decide whether it needs to be discarded.

Co-Op is getting rid of the best before dates so that people can rely on their observational skills and make the decision as to whether they think food is safe to eat or not.

The supermarket's new initiative is coming into stores immediately and will apply to a large number of produce items including apples, oranges and broccoli.

If you’re interested in preventing food waste, get involved with charities like The Felix Project.

​​This article aligns with the UN SDGs Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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