Tesco scraps ‘best before’ dates on all fruit and veg

Supermarket Tesco has announced that they’re scrapping ‘best before’ dates on all of their fruit and veg to help consumers cut food waste.

The move comes five months after the supermarket giant trialled removing ‘best before’ labels from 70 lines of own-brand fresh produce.

The UK’s biggest grocer has now removed labels from a further 116 of their fruit and vegetable items, including apples, oranges, cabbages and asparagus, after previously scrapping them from popular lines like potatoes, tomatoes, lemons and onions.

New research by the supermarket revealed that 69 per cent of customers believe getting rid of ‘best before’ dates is a good idea while 53 per cent of shoppers said they think scrapping best before dates made a difference in how much food they waste..

Unlike ‘use by’ dates, which tell consumers when food should be used by to ensure it is safe to eat, ambiguous ‘best before’ dates simply advise when food is past it’s best. Many consumers misunderstand this however, and throw away food after the ‘best before’ date, despite it still being perfectly good and safe to eat.

‘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’s Head of Food Waste Reduction Mark Little.

‘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.

‘Removing ‘best before’ dates is our way of making it easier for customers to reduce food waste at home and save money in the process.

‘It’s simply not right that food goes to waste and we’re going to do everything we can to help.’

In 2013, Tesco became the first UK retailer to publish the amount of food that they waste. The supermarket is now 70 per cent towards its goal towards reducing food waste.

Well done Tesco!