150 fruit and vegetable products no longer have best before dates thanks to Co-op


In an effort to reduce food waste, The Co-op will remove best before dates from a variety of fruits and vegetables.

The business claimed that removing the dates from its fresh produce would save customers money and benefit the environment.

It stated that food kept in the refrigerator would last much longer than the best before dates suggested.

Last year, larger national supermarkets like Sainsbury's and Asda took similar actions.

More than 150 fresh products, including apples, broccoli, carrots, onions, oranges, potatoes, and tomatoes, will no longer have best before dates starting the following week at the Co-op.

Some more perishable goods will still have "best before" dates on them.

The action comes after a trial of 20 products last year.

Instead of using plaintext codes, which are made up of a string of letters and numbers, the Co-op group, which operates 2,500 grocery stores in the UK, will use encrypted codes to keep track of how long produce has been on the shelf.

Best before dates on fresh produce, according to the article, could indicate that people threw away fruit and vegetables that were still edible.

Customers were advised to use their best judgment when determining whether fresh produce they had at home had gone bad.

The Food Standards Agency asserts that it's crucial for people to understand the distinction between the best before and use by dates.

Best before dates refer to a product's quality, and eating food after it has passed its best before date means the food is probably still safe to eat but may not be at its best.

On the other hand, use-by dates are related to food safety.

The Food Standards Agency advises against consuming food that has passed its use-by date due to the possibility of becoming ill from it.

Use-by dates are frequently found on perishable foods like meat and ready-to-eat salads.

The UK is experiencing "a climate, environmental, and cost of living crisis," according to Adele Balmforth, propositions director at the Co-op, but the removal of best before dates will help consumers reduce food waste.

Fruit and vegetables stored in the refrigerator can last much longer than their best before date, according to product testing by the environmental charity Wrap.

According to the charity, apples can last for more than two months and broccoli for about two weeks.

According to Wrap's Catherine David, director of collaboration and change, households spend an average of £700 annually "on good food that ends up in the trash.".

According to Wrap, households in the UK could save a combined £50 million annually by removing the best before dates from just apples, bananas, broccoli, cucumber, and potatoes.

Co-op's action is in line with similar policies adopted by larger supermarkets.

The best before dates were eliminated from more than 180 fruit and vegetable lines by Tesco, the largest grocery chain in the UK, in 2018, and hundreds of lines by Asda and Sainsbury's the previous year.

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