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Food waste: Tesco cancels the minimum expiry date

The British supermarket chain eliminates the "best before" from 70% of fresh products

By to the "Best Before" warnings on dozens of foods sold in Tesco supermarkets, the largest retail chain in the United Kingdom. The company announces it, in compliance with current national regulations, with the declared aim of containing waste and the abandonment of waste from too many foods and ingredients that are still edible.

"Some customers may be confused by the difference and this can lead to throwing away perfectly edible foods before even before opening the package," said Tesco's food waste manager, Mark Little. "We made this change to fruit and vegetable packaging because they are among the most wasted foods. Many customers have told us that they evaluate their looking fruit and vegetables rather than the 'Best Before' code on the packaging".

The decision of the British supermarket chain will cover 70% of pre-packaged fresh products from the Tesco line, as reported by local media. Products for which the "expiry" date refers only to a possible deterioration of the organoleptic properties, without however hurting those who consume them. While the warnings 'to be consumed by ...' (use by ...), mandatory for those foods that over a certain date would risk becoming less safe for the health of consumers, will not be eliminated.

The measure adopted in Great Britain follows the choice against UE rules of the main British supermarkets about a traffic light labeling for the main foods that indicates with the red, yellow or green stickers the content of critical nutrients for health such as fats, salts and sugars. Not based on the quantities actually consumed, but only on the generic presence of a certain type of substances. 

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EFA News - European Food Agency