Home Business Marks & Spencer scraps milk use-by dates to cut waste

Marks & Spencer scraps milk use-by dates to cut waste

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Marks & Spencer has become the latest retailer to scrap use-by dates on milk as part of efforts to cut food waste.
The dates, which are meant to tell customers when food is safe to eat, will be replaced by best-before dates instead, which are recommendations on freshness.
The supermarket chain urged customers to use their judgement on whether the milk is safe to use.
M&S follows retailers including Morrisons in changing milk labelling.
Milk is among the foods that are thrown away the most by UK households, alongside bread and potatoes, according to environmental charity Wrap.
It said nearly 490 million pints are wasted each year, and the "main reason is not drinking before the use-by date".
M&S said better shelf-life and improvements in milk quality meant consumers could use "their judgement on what's still good to eat" without having to rely on labels.
The changes to labelling on M&S Select Farms British and organic fresh milk will come into effect this week.
Rival retailer Morrisons said in January it would get rid of use-by dates on 90% of its own-brand milk and encourage its customers to "use a sniff test".
That followed a similar move by dairy giant Arla in 2019.
According to food regulators, whether milk needs a use-by date depends on how much it has been processed.
Food businesses should assess the "microbiological risk" before deciding whether to apply a use-by date or best before date, the Food Standards Agency said.
It warned that a "sniff test" is not always reliable.
"People can't always smell the bugs that cause food poisoning," it said in 2022.
It advised against consuming milk after a specified use-by date "even if it smells fine".
However, milk with a best before date label "can be sniffed to see if it has gone bad," it said.
People who have a problem with their sense of smell should get someone else to check it, or not use the milk after the best-before date, it added.
Supermarkets have been ditching use-by dates on fruit and vegetables to help reduce food waste for a number of years.
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