when supermarkets tackle use-by dates


Food waste: when supermarkets tackle use-by dates

Article written by

F.Depaquit, L.Campisi, M.September, A.Sarlat, L.Marcon, L.Soudre, J.Pires – France 2

France Televisions

10 million tons of food are thrown away in France every year. The use-by date, not always essential, is often the cause. Some supermarkets have decided to tackle the problem.

Best before dates are a recurring dilemma for consumers. Two indications now appear on food products. The DLC is the use-by date, beyond which the food presents a health risk. The MDD is the date of minimum durability. After this date, while the taste and appearance may change, the product remains safe. In 2018, a British brand took the radical decision to remove expiry dates on certain fruits and vegetables, to avoid waste.

Others have even removed the dates for the milk, inviting customers to sniff it to see if it’s still good. In France, the trend is coming. For a hundred products from the Carrefour brand, such as salt, oil, sweets or fruits and vegetables, the dates have been deleted. For mentalities to change, distributors should abandon certain practices. “When you’re in the store, you sometimes see that such a brand undertakes to withdraw [de la vente des produits] six days, seven before the date. (…) All of this contributes to creating waste”deplores Olivier Dauvers, specialist in mass distribution.

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