Tesco in bid to reduce food waste

Tesco veg

FOLLOWING a campaign by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, Tesco is to remove best before consumption guidance dates from nearly 70 fruit and vegetable lines in a move to help reduce food waste.

NFWI research found that less than half of respondents understood the meaning of ‘Best Before’ dates, but more than 70% of people polled correctly identified the meaning of ‘Use By’ labels which have to be put on all foods where there is a safety risk if they are eaten after that date.

“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,” said Tesco head of food waste, Mark Little.

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

“Customers have told us that they assess their fruit and vegetables by the look of the product rather than the best before date.”

According to the Food Standards Agency the best before date is about quality and not safety. 

It says the food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best.

In 2013 Tesco removed ‘Display Until’ and moved to either ‘Best Before’ or ‘Use By’ across fresh produce, meat and dairy.