Use-by dates will be removed from Co-op’s yogurts in a bid to tackle food waste.
According to waste reduction campaigners and charity Wrap, half of yoghurts bought in the UK are thrown away, unopened, despite often being perfectly fine to eat beyond their “use by” dates. As with milk, consumers can use a “sniff test” to check if yoghurt has not spoiled. A strong smell indicates it has gone bad, while liquid on top of the yoghurt is another sign.
Co-op says it is the first supermarket to scrap “use by” guidance on its own-brand yoghurts. The labels will be replaced with advisory “best before” dates.
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Nick Cornwell, of the Co-op, said: “Yogurt can be safe to eat if stored unopened in a fridge after the date mark shown, so we have made the move to best-before dates to help reduce food waste.
“The acidity of yogurt acts as a natural defence and we’d encourage shoppers to use their judgment on the quality of their yogurt if it is past the best-before date.
“Data from Wrap has suggested that 70% of food waste happens within the home setting. It’s our ambition to help our members and customers to make small changes that will collectively make a big impact and combat unnecessary food waste.
“Controlling food waste is not only beneficial for managing household budgets, it also has an environmental benefit and will ultimately help reduce carbon emissions.”
Co-op’s announcement follows Morrisons making a similar move with its own brand milk.
Catherine David, of Wrap, said: “We’re delighted to see Co-op making this change to its entire yogurt range, as we know that the date label on yogurt is a fundamental reason that it is wasted at home.
“Wasting food feeds climate change and costs money. Applying a best-before date helps give people the confidence to use their judgment to eat beyond a best-before date and use more of the yogurt they buy – protecting the planet and their pockets.”
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