Poor food labelling ‘has passed its sell-by date’

A sustainability charity has published new food-labelling guidance to help producers and supermarkets reduce waste. WRAP says insufficient and inaccurate descriptions on packaging are to blame for two million tonnes […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A sustainability charity has published new food-labelling guidance to help producers and supermarkets reduce waste.

WRAP says insufficient and inaccurate descriptions on packaging are to blame for two million tonnes of food thrown away in the UK each year.

It suggests only applying ‘Use By’ dates in cases when safety requires it and says using ‘Best Before’ dates is generally preferable.

The group also advises only using one date label on a single product and applying ‘Use Within X Days’ instructions only where there is a specific safety reason not already covered by a ‘Use By’ date.

Effective symbols and graphics should be used for storage instructions, including the ‘Snowflake’ logo to indicate which products are suitable for freezing and how this should be done.

Dr Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP, said: “This guidance is a significant move in the fight against food waste.

“We know clarity of this sort is key to stopping the £1 billion worth of avoidable food waste that was ending up in our household bins every year, purely because it wasn’t used in time.”