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‘Educate consumers on date-labeling’

The Government's publication of updated guidance on food labeling announced today (Thursday) is an opportunity to improve people's understanding of date marking, retailers said.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

‘Educate consumers on date-labeling’

‘Educate consumers on date-labeling’
The Government's publication of updated guidance on food labeling announced today (Thursday) is an opportunity to improve people's understanding of date marking, retailers said.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has urged the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to focus its attention on the issue most likely to help reduce food waste – making sure consumers understand the terms ‘use-by' and ‘best-before'. The BRC said Defra should be doing this instead of blaming retailers' use of ‘display until' for adding to food waste.

British Retail Consortium Food Director, Andrew Opie, said: "If the Government really wants to make a difference to reducing food waste it should be educating consumers about the two basic terms – use-by and best-before. This system is carefully used by retailers and it isn't complicated.

"There are two key facts for people to understand. A use-by date provides information about food safety while a best-before date gives a customer guidance on when a product will be of highest quality. A product which is beyond its use-by date should be thrown away but food after its best-before date is still safe to eat.

"Helping consumers understand that food past its best-before date can still be eaten or cooked could contribute to reducing food waste and saving people money. The Government should be spreading that message, not focusing on retail practices."

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