Avoiding food waste? Trust your senses
More than a third of all food is wasted. That is a shame for the environment, because this waste is responsible for no less than 10 % of global CO₂ emissions. 10 % of all food waste in Europe is due to the incorrect use or interpretation of expiration dates. There is also good news: just by carefully checking whether the packaging states a ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date, you can avoid throwing away food that is still perfectly edible.
‘Best before’ versus ‘use by’
They sound very similar, but the difference in meanings makes a big difference when it comes to combating food waste.
- ‘Use by’: after this date you can no longer use the product safely. This applies mainly to fresh products such as soft cheeses, mixed salads, meat, yoghurt, etc.
- ‘Best before’: after this date, the quality of the product will deteriorate, but it’s not an immediate health risk. This applies to products such as crisps, apples, tinned fish, tinned vegetables, hard cheeses, etc. Is it past the date shown? Trust your senses and inspect it yourself for signs of decay. If it looks and smells normal, you can still use it.
To indicate this more clearly, Too Good To Go has designed a label for products with a 'best before' date: ‘look, smell, taste’ and trust your senses for the safe consumption of this product after the stated date. We are committed to putting this label on the packaging of many of our products with a ‘best before’ date, if they are safe to consume for longer than their date suggests. In this way, we are combating food waste together, you and us.
How long are products edible?
Products with a 'best before' date are often safe to eat for much longer, provided they are stored properly, in the right place and at the right temperature. Before consumption, check whether the packaging is damaged and apply the 'look, smell, taste' principle.
All food ends up well
You don’t always buy something to eat on the same day. That’s why we give you enough time to use fresh products before they’re time-expired. For example, we take eggs off our shelves seven days before the expiration date, dairy products and processed meat four days and fruit and vegetables one day.
This measure doesn't lead to extra waste. We donate quite some products to social organisations such as the Food Banks. Those buffer days give them enough time to distribute the products we remove from our shelves before their expiration date.
As a partner of Too Good To Go, Bio-Planet, Rose Mary and a number of Spar stores sell their unsold food at a bargain price at the end of the day. At OKay you will find fresh, chilled products on the shelves one day longer at a reduced price.
With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.