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Source: Sainsbury’s

The move is part of the retailer’s commitment to halve food waste by 2030

Sainsbury’s is making changes to the labels on the packaging for a raft of fresh produce as well as dairy products in a bid to prevent food waste.

The supermarket has now begun removing ‘best before’ dates from over 100 fresh lines, including pears, onions, tomatoes and citrus fruit. A further 130 products, including potatoes, are set to follow in the coming weeks.

Instead, the new fresh fruit & veg packaging will feature the message ‘no date helps reduce waste’ to raise awareness among shoppers.

In addition, it is also switching all ‘use by’ dates on own-brand yoghurts to ‘best before’ dates by the end of the year, which will affect 46 product lines.

Sainsbury’s has said that, after “stringent testing”, it has found that its yoghurt is safe to consume past its expiration date.

In total, changes will be made to date labels on packaging for 276 own-label products in efforts to encourage customers to use their own judgement when deciding if a product is still good to eat.

Read more: Why time is running out for best before dates on fruit & vegetables

“We know that around a third of all food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted and food waste is one of the leading contributors of carbon emissions, accounting for a staggering 8%-10% of GHG emissions globally, which is why we’re committed to helping customers reduce waste at home,” said Kate Stein, director of technical at Sainsbury’s.

“We also know that by avoiding unnecessary waste, we can help our customers save money by making their food shop last longer.

“The changes that we’re announcing today will do just that, giving customers more autonomy to make their own decisions on whether their food is good to eat, and preventing them from disposing of food too early.”

The move comes as other major retailers are also ditching ‘best before’ dates to help reduce wastage, including Waitrose, Asda, Marks & Spencer and Lidl.

Sainsbury’s said the upcoming changes, which are part of its pledge to halve food waste in its own operations by 2030, could help UK households to save 11,000 tonnes of food a year.

The grocer has already removed ‘best before’ dates from over 1,500 lines in recent years.