'Best before' dates could finally be past their sell-by date
Research done just a couple of minutes ago by our fevered imaginations has shown that consumers needlessly throw away enough food each year to fill 73 Wembley Stadiums, if the stadium was only 73% the size that it actually is. Give or take a few other numbers.
But all that could soon change if the coalition’s latest plan comes to fruition. They’re aiming to simplify food label instructions and get rid of ‘best before’ and ‘sell by’ dates, which many consumers confuse with a ‘use by’ date, leading to the hurling away of food that is still perfectly fine – not to mention the problem of the 73 Wembleys.
A coalition source told the Sunday Telegraph: “Staples like mushroom and tomatoes are routinely marked 'best before' when all that happens when they reach these dates is that the food loses a bit of colour or goes a bit soft. We cannot carry on simply throwing away tonnes of food like this.”
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimate that British households toss away 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink each year, costing the average family £680 a year, with most of the discarded grub ending up in landfill. They reckon that more than 5 million tonnes of it is edible, enough to comfortably feed a million morbidly obese children (we threw that last stat in ourselves – it’s quite addictive).
As for this story, it will probably go stale in about a month, once the government realises that it’s face is writing cheques that its mouth can’t cash yet again.