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Nearly a third of people unnecessarily binning food due to label confusion

6th September 2019
Posted by Aston Avery

Thousands of adults across Britain admit they struggle to understand all of the labels on food and drink packaging, resulting in many binning perfectly good produce, new research has revealed. A poll of 2,000 adults by Arla Foods found there was uncertainty across the board, with the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates, as well as storage information and even the salt, sugar and fat content leaving 85 per cent of the nation confused.

The study revealed that whilst three-quarters (77 per cent) of respondents check food and drink packaging before they purchase, only 15 per cent are confident they can decipher everything on the label. This includes ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates with over a third (34 per cent) of Brits unsure of the difference, and 11 per cent believing them to be the same thing. This confusion means a third (34 per cent) end up binning food if past its ‘best before’ date, while another 38 per cent do the same once the product has passed its ‘use by’ date.

This comes as research shows Brits are over cautious when it comes to milk, with more than half (59 per cent) of respondents avoiding the good stuff after its ‘best before’ date, and 14 per cent admitting they would bin it without checking to see if it could still be used.

Aston spoke to Kate Quilton, TV presenter and food campaigner to discuss the research and also offered advice when it comes to not wasting food.