EFSA has developed a tool to help food business operators decide when to apply the ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date to their products.
The ‘use by’ date on food is about safety – foods can be eaten until this date but not after, even if they look and smell fine. ‘Best before’ refers to quality – the food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best. For example, its flavour and texture might not be as good.
The European Commission estimates that up to 10% of the 88 million tonnes of food waste generated annually in the EU is linked to date marking on food products.
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