Best before dates are an indicative guide of when the quality of food or drink will start to change. They are not to do with safety. Food that has passed its best before date is safe to eat.
Best before should be considered a rough guide rather than a strict rule. There is no reason to throw away food that goes past its best before date, it is perfectly safe to eat and will often taste just as good.
The government has actually considered scrapping best before dates to help prevent food waste. Best before dates can give a misleading impression that food is no longer suitable for consumption, meaning lots of consumers will throw out their food after the best before date has passed when they don?t need to. The UK throws away seven million tonnes of food and drink every year; two million of this is thrown away by households and 670,000 of this is food that has been thrown out because food labels have been misinterpreted. The majority of this could have been eaten. This costs households an average of £470 year in wasted food annually.
If you want to reduce your food waste footprint, don?t throw out food just because it has passed its best before! To find out how food changes in taste and texture over time, visit our product specific pages detailing how long after the best before date you can eat different foods.