'Best before' dates could finally be past their sell-by date

17 April 2011

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.

TOPICS:   Supermarket


  • gunn
    M&s ditched display until a few years ago. I guess people just need more education on how to tell if food is still good to eat
  • Radioactive M.
    If food is cooked properly BBE dates don't mean shit, Most people have a microwave, just nuke the food and voila......bunch of overcautious pussies
  • PJH
    Is it just me, or does that mould look like Kate Middleton?
  • Vincent J.
    Well thats all those tonnage of good food and stuff for those bin raiders that I have seen on Current-tv. Good for them I say. Im not guilty of throwing dud food, Im guilty of forgetting the food is there. Still, a morbidly obese child sounds just nice to eat.. Im still sure thats what those are on the kebab spindles at the curry house.. mmm placenta!
  • kv
    so who's gonna clean up all the vomit of all these people eating food that's not fit for consumption?
  • kfcws
    So that'll be Tesco's lobbying for removal of dates as most of their food only has 2-3 days left on it when it hits the shelves.

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