Tesco REMOVES ‘confusing’ best before date labels from fruit and veg

Tesco becomes first supermarket to REMOVE ‘confusing’ best before date labels from fruit and veg in bid to reduce food waste

  • Tesco will remove guidance labels from more than 70 fruit and veg lines
  • The decision was taken to prevent perfectly edible food being thrown away
  • A poll found that less than half of customers knew what a ‘best before’ date is
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Tesco has become the first major supermarket to remove ‘confusing’ best before date labels from fruit and vegetable products to help reduce food waste.

The move will see the advice that tells customers when is best to eat certain produce being completely axed from more than 70 items.

The move is being made to prevent perfectly edible food from being unnecessarily thrown away, Tesco has said.

Apples, potatoes, tomatoes, lemons and onions are among fruits and vegetables that will no longer carry a best before label, according to the supermarket.

Tesco has revealed it will remove ‘best before’ guidance dates from 70 fruit and vegetable products to try and help people reduce food waste

The decision follows a recent campaign by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) into causes of food waste.

What Tesco fruit and veg will no longer have a best before label?

More than 70 lines of fruit and veg will no longer carry best before date labels.

They include:

Rosedene Farm Small Sweet Apples

Tesco own brand Brown Onions

Tesco own brand Sweet Potatoes 

It found that less than half of people in a survey understood what a ‘best before’ date means.

By contrast, more than 70 per cent of people polled by NFWI correctly identified the meaning of ‘use by’ labels, which have to be put on all foods where there is a safety risk if they are eaten after that date.

‘Best before’ labels are put on foods by retailers as a quality indicator to show when they will be best to eat by.

Tesco head of food waste Mark Little explained: ‘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.

Best before dates will be removed at Tesco for the first time, including from Redmere Farms Baby Potatoes

‘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 states of best before dates: ‘The best before date, sometimes shown as BBE, is about quality and not safety. 

‘The food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best.’ 

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