So much food gets wasted unnecessarily every year. Which is shocking when there’s so much hunger and poverty on our streets and in the world.
It’s time to make sure that everyone know the difference between the dates on their food packaging.
The use by date means when to use the product by. If you eat it after the use by date you could be putting yourself at risk. Be careful with meat and dairy. This is all about safety.
The best before date means that it is best up to a certain point, but it can still be consumed afterwards. It’s essentially the manufacturer’s view of when the product is best. For instance, it might start to lose flavour after a certain date but it’s still safe to eat.
The sell by (or display until) dates are for staff use in the shop. It’s telling them when to pull them from the shelves. Obviously, if you notice that a product shouldn’t be on the shelf and has probably been missed, let staff know, but these dates aren’t really for you.
Of course, if you buy at a market, there usually isn’t any labels on produce. Ask the butcher or fruit seller how long the product should last, whether it’s best kept in the fridge, freezer or out in the fruit bowl. We must rely as much on our common sense as labels. Be sensible!