Lidl store front

Source: Lidl

Lidl has become the latest supermarket to encourage shoppers judge for themselves whether milk has gone off, using the ‘sniff test’.

The discounter is swapping use by for best before dates on all own-brand milk and yoghurt, in a bid to reduce unnecessary food waste.

Under FSA guidance, use by dates indicate when food is no longer safe to consume, even if it still looks and smells fine. Best before dates on the other hand indicate when a product may start to deteriorate in quality.

Milk and yoghurt that’s been stored correctly and doesn’t smell bad or appear lumpy is considered still safe. Lidl is encouraging customers to be guided by the best before dates and judge for themselves whether to consume the product.

“At Lidl, we know a lot of perfectly good milk and yoghurt is being thrown away because of use by dates,” said Richard Inglis, Lidl GB head of buying.

“It therefore makes total sense to us to make the switch to best before so shoppers can use their own judgement on whether their milk or yoghurt is good to consume.

“We’ve got a long record of making positive change to reduce food waste, and this latest step builds on our commitment to helping households tackle food waste at home.”

Lidl is implementing the change on milk this month, and yoghurts from early 2024.

Other retailers to have made a similar move with milk include Sainsbury’sM&SWaitrose and Morrisons, while Arla announced a switch to ‘sniff tests’ across its branded milk in 2019.