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Date label update consultation in progress

08 July 2017

Wrap has begun consultations on updating industry guidance for date labels and related consumer advice, with a view to helping to reduce avoidable food waste. 

WRAP has estimated the potential further impact of technical changes at around 350,000 tonnes of avoidable food waste, with a value of around £1 billion a year.

In addition, WRAP research found that in 2015, 270,000 tonnes of surplus food from manufacturing and retail could have been suitable for redistribution, while only 47,000 tonnes was actually redistributed. Barriers to redistribution often relate to date labels on surplus food packaging, and confusion around what can or cannot be done as dates approach or are passed.

WRAP is currently working with UK Governments and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to update industry guidance on the application of on-pack date and related advice (storage and freezing guidance). with a view to reducing food waste in the home and to remove barriers to redistribution. The guidance will cover:

• What the different date labels mean, and how best to decide which date to apply in relation to curtailing food waste (and the consequences of this decision)

• The importance of maximising both ‘closed’ and ‘open’ life, whilst ensuring quality and safety are maintained.

• The importance of correct storage guidance, including fridge temperature and freezing advice

• What can (and cannot) be done as the date approaches / is passed (for sale / redistribution)

A draft of the updated guidance is now available for review and comment until August 3rd 2017 - follow link to consultation page.

WRAP is also directly consulting with food businesses, trade bodies, redistribution organisations and others, including through various Courtauld Commitment 2025 Working Groups.

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