Must the expiry date of the food be respected? Why in the UK supermarkets eliminate it and what does food waste have to do with it?

The fight to food waste it also passes through the storage of food. For this, some supermarket chains in the UK have decided to eliminate the expiration date from foods. It is not, in fact, a limit to be strictly respected: it is more than one indicative threshold, which in the case of properly stored fresh food can be exceeded for a few days. Limit that further expands for dry industrial products.

Waitrose initiative and medical warnings

The amount of food thrown away on average is in fact excessive: each of us, every year, trash 31 kilos of food. And partly because of the strict adherence to the expiration date indications. The statistics are similar across the West. For this reason, the British supermarket chain Waitrose has decided to eliminate the famous indication “To be consumed preferably by” on 500 fresh products. The hope is that by doing so, consumers will only throw away food when it is actually no longer in good condition, regardless of the calculations.

However, as reminds a The messenger Professor Patrizia Laurenti, professor of Hygiene at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, when we find the “Expiring dates” strictly speaking we need to be more careful. «For fresh products of animal origin, if you go beyond the indicated date there may be one alteration of the microbial composition, which can cause problems for fragile subjects, especially the elderly and children“. In these cases, therefore, respect must be more scrupulous.

No exemptions for medicines

Professor Laurenti suggests a self-control plan from supermarkets to avoid waste: “If the expiration date is close, the product is sold at a very low price or given to those who need it.” Food poisoning caused by expired food, specific, is rare, but it must pay attention to the hygiene of the refrigerator in which the food is stored to avoid contraindications. Finally, there is no mistake when it comes to medicines: unlike food, in fact, it is not easy to understand when they have expired. But their active ingredients can deteriorate, and if their packaging remains open for too long they should not be used. In these cases, therefore, it is recommended that the expiry date be strictly observed.

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About Eric Wilson

The variety offered by video games never ceases to amaze him. He loves OutRun's drifting as well as the contemplative walks of Dear Esther. Immersing himself in other worlds is an incomparable feeling for him: he understood it by playing for the first time in Shenmue.

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