What’s your opinion on best-before dates?

Best-before dates provide good information to consumers and also confidence to manufacturers that their products can be presented and judged appropriately. They tell a consumer that before a certain date the product will be in guaranteed peak condition. After the best-before date, the food can most likely still be eaten and enjoyed if the consumer judges it’s okay.

Can you see a future where only use-by-dates are used?

Some countries have brought this in to reduce food waste because politicians judged there was confusion between best-before and use-by dates. Years ago the NZ Food Safety Authority made public information available for consumers that communicated the difference, but there hasn’t been anything for many years. Educating people on the difference would remind people they don’t have to throw food away because it’s just past its best-before. It is definitely waste if you are throwing away good food that is nutritious and tasty.

How do best-before dates impact on food waste?

They can impact on food waste if someone has the mistaken idea they need to throw food away immediately if it’s close to or just past its best-before date. There’s no need to do this. Consumers can decide.

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