Never again "Best Before"

Tesco has decided to remove the "Best before" label from pre-packaged fruit and vegetables.

1 June 2018

These days the British distribution giant has decided to reduce food waste by removing the label "Best Before"  from pre-packaged fruit and vegetables. According to a campaign by the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI), on the causes of food waste, less than half of the people interviewed know the meaning of the "best before" date.
However, more than 70% of respondents were able to identify the correct use of "use by" labels, which must be placed on foods that lead to a health risk if eaten after that date.

In essence:     

  • best before (to be consumed preferably within) is an indication of quality. Signals that the product is at its best by such date but that it is perfectly safe to eat it later. Fruits and vegetables have only "best before" dates.     
  • use by, applied to highly perishable foods such as fresh fish, poultry, and meat indicates that food can not be consumed after this date as it poses a health hazard.

Mark Little, head of Tesco's Food Waste, says that fruits and vegetables are the foods that are thrown more frequently by consumers and that's why they decided to eliminate the relative labels on these foods. Taking away the "Best Before" date according to Tesco would encourage customers to make their own decisions about the freshness of the product themselves. This choice led other English supermarket chains, such as the Woolworths group, to do the same thing, and the initiative could be exported overseas.


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