Many people in and around Bude supermarket shop at Morrrisons, and most will applaud their decision to remove ‘use by’ dates from milk.
The food waste group, Wrap, says that more than half a million tonnes of dairy products are wasted every year – with the majority thrown away in our homes because we just haven’t got around to eating them. They say that this equates to 290,000 tonnes of milk a year (7% of purchases).
So, something as simple as removing ‘use by’ dates but retaining ‘best before’ dates should encourage consumers to check their milk before throwing it away.
Morrisons said customers should check their milk by holding the bottle to their nose and simply sniffing it. If it smells sour or has curdled and lumps have formed that is also a sign it should not be used.
The ‘sniff test’ is a fairly reliable one and works for all sorts of foods, including eggs.
The government’s own food safety website tells us not to trust the ‘sniff test’ as we cannot sniff out harmful bacteria which may have invaded a foodstuff, but Wrap says:
Where the food safety risk is sufficiently covered by the ‘Use By’ date, remove food safety-related ‘Open Life’ guidance (‘Use within X days of opening’). Where ‘Open Life’ is important for food quality rather than safety, use the wording – ‘Best within X days of opening’.
For milk, storage is the key issue. Close bottles after opening, and store in the fridge. Also consider buying smaller bottles if you regularly waste milk. Or using the many plant milks, many of which last longer.