Co-op scraps use-by date on yoghurt – urging Brits to use common sense instead

The Co-op supermarket chain said cutting the sell-by date will reduce food waste, as research shows around half of the yoghurt we buy every day is thrown away unopened

Elderly man shopping in yogurt aisle
Millions of Brits buy yoghurt every day, but around half of it is thrown away

That Cooperative supermarket has scrapped yoghurt’s sell-by date – and is urging Brits to use common sense instead.

supermarkets start ending the sell-by date to reduce food waste.

Morrisons scrapped them Dates on the private label milk while many retailers have stopped putting the dates on vegetables.

Now the co-op has unveiled plans to end the sell-by date on its own-brand yoghurt in a bid to reduce the amount of food we throw away.

Around six million Britons eat yoghurt every day, the BBC reports – about 9% of us.

However, research by food waste charity Wrap shows that half of it is thrown away in packs that have never been opened because they are past their use-by date.

The co-op will instead keep the sell-by date on its own yoghurts.

Nick Cornwall, Co-op’s head of food engineering, said yogurt is mostly fine past the sell-by date, provided it’s been refrigerated unopened.

The natural acids found in yogurt help keep it fresh, he added.

The Co-op food expert said shoppers should “use their judgment” if their yogurt is past its sell-by date.

Consumers should use their sight and smell to determine if food is edible past its sell-by date, according to the Food Standards Authority’s watchdog.

Cornwall said the move was “designed to make a big impact together and tackle unnecessary food waste”.

“Controlling food waste is not only beneficial for household budget management, but also has an environmental benefit and will ultimately help reduce carbon emissions,” he added.

For more than ten years there have been calls for the abolition of the use-by date, which have been approved by government ministers and food experts increase the amount of food we throw away .

supermarkets have also agreed to sell most of the fresh fruits and vegetables packed loose instead of in plastic to help the environment.

All major supermarkets have joined sustainability organization Wrap’s guidelines to sell bulk produce by 2025.

Apples, bananas, broccoli and cucumbers are among the first to be sold without plastic packaging, The grocer reports .

Other items soon to be sold bulk include eggplants, avocados, carrots, onions and peppers.

Wrap believes that 80% of fruit and vegetables can be sold unwrapped.

It is estimated that this saves more than 21,500 tons of plastic from being thrown in the trash every year.

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