Tesco to remove 'Best Before' dates off several products

It says this is to help reduce food waste

Tesco to remove 'Best Before' dates off several products

Image: Tesco

British retailer Tesco is to remove 'Best Before' dates off nearly 70 fruit and vegetable items.

It says this is its latest move to help reduce food waste.

Tesco says the change is being made to help prevent "perfectly edible food from being thrown away".

It follows a recent campaign in the UK into causes of food waste - which found that less than half of respondents understood the meaning of 'Best Before' dates.

However, more than 70% of people polled by the UK's National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) correctly identified the meaning of 'Use By' labels.

These have to be put on all foods where there is a safety risk if they are eaten after that date.

File photo

While 'Best Before' labels are put on foods by retailers as a quality indication to show that, although they are no longer at their best, they are still good to eat.

Tesco head of food waste Mark Little explains: "We know some customers may be confused by the difference between 'Best Before' and 'Use By' dates on food and this can lead to perfectly edible items being thrown away before they need to be discarded.

"We have made this change to fruit and vegetable packaging as they are among the most wasted foods.

"Many customers have told us that they assess their fruit and vegetables by the look of the product rather than the 'Best Before' date code on the packaging."

The fruit and vegetables include such items as apples, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, lemons and other citrus fruit.

In a statement, Tesco Ireland says: "While we have no immediate plans to introduce this initiative, we will be keeping it under review.

"We have made a commitment that no food safe for human consumption will go to waste in Tesco Ireland stores by 2020."