Asda to remove ‘best before’ dates from almost 250 fresh products

Asda to remove 'best before' dates from 250 fresh products. Credit: AP

Supermarket Asda will leave "best before" dates off produce including citrus fruits, potatoes, cauliflowers and carrots across all its UK stores from September 1.

The dates will be replaced by a new code which will be used by store staff to ensure quality and freshness, the retailer said.

Asda is the latest retailer to remove "best before" dates from its produce, with Waitrose and Marks & Spencer removing them earlier this year.

Supermarket giant Tesco led the way when it got rid of them from more than 100 items in 2018 while earlier this year, Morrisons announced plans to remove use by dates on milk and encourage consumers to use a “sniff test” instead to determine if it is okay to consume.

Asda is also providing guidance online and on packaging to help customers store and prepare fresh food as well as tips on how to reduce waste.

It follows the Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap) saying that "best before" dates on fruit and vegetables are unnecessary and contribute to climate change.

Wrap figures suggest that the average family throws away £60 worth of food and drink each month.

Asda Head of Technical Andy Cockshaw said: “Reducing food waste in our business and in customers’ homes is a priority and we are always looking at different ways to achieve this.

“We know for customers this has become more important than ever in the current climate as many families are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and are looking to make savings wherever they can.”

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Catherine David, director of collaboration and change at Wrap, said: “Our research has shown that date labels on fruit and veg are unnecessary – getting rid of them can prevent the equivalent of seven million shopping baskets’ worth from our household bins."

“The influence of no date label or the right date label on what we use and what we throw away is huge.

“More supermarkets need to get ahead on food waste by axing date labels from fresh produce, allowing people to use their own judgement.”