Are crisps next to lose 'use by' dates?

Are crisps next to lose ‘use by’ dates? After Morrisons changed labelling on milk, supermarket bosses say dry snacks are also safe to eat past their ‘best before’ dates – as shopper finds pork scratchings three months out of date on store’s shelves

  • Dry snacks are still able to be eaten after their best before dates, bosses say
  • It means the ‘use by’ dates on some items could soon become redundant
  • The possibility comes after supermarket changes labelling on milk over waste 
  • Popular snacks including crisps could be next to lose their ‘use before dates’ as supermarkets and food experts say they are safe to eat beyond their time.

    Management working at one of the UK’s biggest stores say Food Standard Agency guidance says they are fine to eat even after their ‘best before dates’.

    The watchdog says while crisps and other products might not be of the best quality if they are consumed over this time, they are still safe.

    Shops are also legally allowed to sell items that have passed their best before date.

    It means customers may be faced with more products they think may have gone off, but is actually totally safe.

    A supermarket insider told MailOnline:  ‘Without in any way trying to condone presenting food for sale that is beyond its Best Before date, this is a quality issue rather than safety.

    ‘Packets of crisps and dry snacks will be safe to eat beyond Best Before date but their flavour and texture might not be as good.

    ‘The FSA website spells it out itself.’

    A shopper at a Morrisons in Bridlington found packets of pork crackling that was three months after its best before date.

    A shopper at a Morrisons in Bridlington found packets of pork crackling that was three months after its best before date.

    The supermarket said the items should not have been on sale and were removed from shelves

    The supermarket said the items should not have been on sale and were removed from shelves

    Some of the 75p snacks were labelled with a best before date of over three months ago

    Some of the 75p snacks were labelled with a best before date of over three months ago

    The potential shift in importance of the Best Before date could see ‘Use Before Dates’ phased out completely for certain types of foods.

    FSA guidance says says best before dates on items are related to quality rather than a safety issue.

    It states: ‘The best before date, sometimes shown as BBE (best before end), is about quality and not safety.

    ‘The food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best. Its flavour and texture might not be as good. Best before dates appear on a wide range of foods including frozen foods, dried foods and tinned foods.

    ‘The best before date will only be accurate if the food is stored according to the instructions on the packaging.’

    On Sunday Morrisons said it was to become the first British supermarket to scrap ‘use by’ dates on milk to slash food waste.

    Morrisons will switch to ¿best before¿ dates on 90 per cent of milk bottles and cartons from January 31 [File photo]

    Morrisons will switch to ‘best before’ dates on 90 per cent of milk bottles and cartons from January 31 [File photo]

    The company will switch to ‘best before’ dates on 90 per cent of milk bottles and cartons from January 31 to encourage customers to bin it only when it smells off – and see the date as no more than a guide to freshness.   

    Milk is the third most wasted food and drink product in the UK, with 490 million pints going down the drain each year. It also has the largest carbon footprint of any food and drink due to the farming involved in production. 

    One litre can account for up to 4.5kg of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere – the equivalent of driving the average petrol car for 16 miles.

    University of Chester research found that milk from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons kept in a fridge at 4C was safe to drink seven days after its ‘use by’ date.

    Morrisons will remove ‘use by’ dates on own-brand British milk and that from Danish supplier Arla, which together account for 90 per cent of its sales.

    Yesterday a shopper at a Morrisons in Bridlington found packets of pork crackling that was three months after its best before date.

    The store refunded the customer and said they had been placed there in error and should not have been on sale.

    A spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We are confident that it is an isolated issue and have taken immediate action with the store to ensure the products have been removed from sale.’ 

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