‘Massive’ fines as out-of-date laws out of sync

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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EU bureaucrats approved changes to food labelling laws which will quadruple the fines faced by retailers who allow out-of-date food to be sold.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retailers were simultaneously being blamed for creating food waste and facing heavy penalties for potentially selling out-of-date stock.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  • ALDI sold me 5 packs of Scottish oatcakes on 8 DEC 2012 & unknown to me they were ALL OUT OF DATE 7 expired 16 NOV 2012!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    Yet despite NOT being told my food is out of date at the time of purchase, ALDI cannot tell me in WRITING that the food I purchased is even safe to eat!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!

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