‘Massive’ fines as out-of-date laws out of sync

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (1)
  • Save

A government blitz on food labelling will expose stores to a huge rise in fines under new EU laws, retailers warned this week.

Defra has called for an end to 'sell by' and 'display until' dates, claiming the system contributes to an estimated £12bn food waste mountain. However, the move comes just weeks after EU bureaucrats approved changes to food labelling laws which will quadruple the fines faced by retailers who allow out-of-date food to be sold. Under the new legislation, stores could be fined up to £20,000 for one incident.

The BRC claimed retailers were simultaneously being blamed for creating food waste and facing heavy penalties for potentially selling out-of-date stock. "This will lead to a massive increase in the fines retailers could face," said BRC food director Andrew Opie.

The FDF joined the BRC in lobbying the government to focus on solving confusion over the terms 'use by' and 'best before'. But environment secretary Caroline Spelman said Defra's proposed system would clarify "once and for all" when food was safe.

Readers' comments (1)

  • ALDI sold me 5 packs of Scottish oatcakes on 8 DEC 2012 & unknown to me they were ALL OUT OF DATE 7 expired 16 NOV 2012!

    Trading standards say selling food past best before date is not illegal, yet the whole point of best before & use by dates on food is so WE KNOW when food is safe to eat etc.
    Yet despite NOT being told my food is out of date at the time of purchase, ALDI cannot tell me in WRITING that the food I purchased is even safe to eat!
    Aldi apologised & tried to palm me off with an unknown voucher!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email groceremails@wrbm.com

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (1)
  • Save
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up


I wish to receive the following newsletters:

For Members

Become a Gold Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a Finance Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a member of The Grocer



CLICK HERE to search for the products, services and companies you need in the definitive guide to the UK food and drink industry.


The Grocer's commentators and opinion makers