Save money and reduce waste by learning more about dates on food & drink products
Every year in the UK over 7 million tonnes of food and drink is thrown away, a lot of which has past its 'best before' date, but would still be perfectly good to eat.
We specialise in surplus and short-dated stock, food that is either near or just passed its 'best before' date – allowing us to pass on huge savings to our customers.
But we never sell anything past its 'use by' date.
'Best before' dates are about quality
'Best before' dates appear on a wide range of dried, tinned and other foods and acts as the manufacturers estimate of when the premium quality of its product may start to deteriorate, losing some of its flavour and texture, but it isn't when food should be discarded.
'Use by' dates refer to safety
You'll see 'use by' dates on food that goes off quickly, such as fish, meat products and ready-prepared salads. As a result, Approved Food doesn't sell any food that has a 'use by' date.
Think carefully before throwing away food past its 'best before' date. Every year in the UK we throw away over 7 million tonnes of food and drink, most of which could have been eaten.
What about 'display until' & 'sell by'?
There are often other dates and markings near 'best before' and 'use by' dates, such as display until or sell by. These are instructions for shop staff, not for shoppers. The important dates for shoppers are 'use by' and 'best before' dates.
What the experts say...
Simon Rimmer, BBC Chef and Food ExpertDo not eat anything after its 'use by' date, however you can safely eat food after its 'best before' date. I think we definitely waste too much food in this country. So Approved Food is a good business and safe business
Julia Falcon, Love Food Hate Waste CampaignWe lead extremely busy lives and taking an interest in what's written on the date label and then understanding what that actually means is a step too far for a lot of us.If people were more confident about what date labels mean they'd get round to eating more of their food rather than throwing it away.
Sam Montell, nutritionist for the Food Standards AgencyShops are allowed to sell food after its best-before date has passed. Best-before dates are concerned with quality rather than safety, so it doesn't mean that the food is dangerous if the date has passed