"It’s completely legal for shops to sell food past the best before date as long as they inform the consumers about it"
According to FSA (Food Standard Agency) ‘best before’ dates are about quality, not safety.
You are not just reducing waste; you are also going to save a lot of money. According to Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP), it estimates that the UK wastes seven million tonnes of food to which every five million is edible. By not throwing away food that is still safe to eat, UK households could potentially save up to £50-£100 a month. As food prices are on the rise, this is the best way to save money as products are sold cheaper and most of the time you won’t be able to tell the difference.
The UK government’s Food Standard Agency says that food and drinks that are beyond the best-before dates are safe to consume when stored correctly.
In order to comply with the European Food Information to Consumers Regulation, it is a requirement that food producers should display information on labels or packaging which states its shelf-life. Shelf-life is the period in which food is deemed acceptably safe to consume and is within its best quality. It is indicated by either a date of minimum durability ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date AND any special conditions or conditions of use.
A ‘use by’ date is about safety. Foods cannot be eaten after the ‘use by’ date even if it looks and smells fine as it could potentially put your health at risk. Even with the correct storage condition, it is no longer safe to consume food beyond its use-by date.
For more information please visit https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/best-before- and-use-by-dates
Dates both sell-by and display dates are for retailers’ information only and should not be confused as when food and drinks should be consumed. Always follow the ‘best before’ and the ‘used by’ date.
Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that they provide accurate dates on their food labelling to ensure that it is safe for consumption. Food producers have undergone microbial challenge studies and pathogen testing on their food products to determine at what point the level of microorganism level is too high for safety. Every safety margin is set at the manufacturer’s discretion.