Safefood has explained that it supports moves by supermarkets to eliminate best-before dates on some food merchandise.
The initiative, which is also in spot in other nations, aims to minimize food stuff waste in Ireland.
Bananas, apples and potatoes are amongst the food items most dumped unused by Irish shoppers.
Exploration from the Environmental Security Company (EPA), published earlier this calendar year, also showed that Irish homes make all-around 250,000 tonnes in meals squander on a yearly basis.
The EPA claimed it equates to all over €700 for each household, with 55% of individuals throwing out meals thanks to expired best-just before dates.
As aspect of initiatives to deal with food stuff squander in Ireland, supermarkets have introduced a range of initiatives, together with eliminating most effective-prior to day labels from some fruit and vegetable products.
Safefood, which promotes food stuff basic safety and diet recognition, has reassured consumers that there are no threats connected with the exercise.
The agency’s Chief Professional in Meals Science, Dr Linda Gordon, mentioned “we are satisfied from our level of watch that this is not a food stuff safety difficulty”.
“It is about the excellent of the foodstuff and there is not a danger to individuals by getting rid of greatest-ahead of dates from fresh new fruit and greens, so men and women can be reassured about that,” she explained.
Dr Gordon said men and women can handle food items most effective-prior to dates as a guideline, but use-by dates should be regarded as a deadline.
She informed RTÉ Information that “it is truly essential not to confuse the two as you will find an crucial distinction”.
“A finest-right before day is about the good quality of the foods, so that up until eventually that date the company is telling you that the food items really should be tasty, should really appear the way you want it to, the texture really should be fantastic and the high quality of the food items will be fantastic up right until that day and potentially for some time later on.”
She explained soon after the ideal-prior to day, the food stuff really should even now be risk-free to eat but the excellent may have deteriorated.
Having said that, Dr Gordon said “a use-by day is about food protection, so that is your deadline”.
“After that date the food stuff may perhaps not be protected to eat. and you should under no circumstances consume food stuff following its use-by date.”
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Lidl claimed it has not experienced most effective-just before dates on its unprocessed fruit and vegetables for lots of many years.
Aoife Noonan, Head of Excellent Assurance at Lidl, explained “it can be not legally required and it lets our prospects to make a selection on the finest fruit and greens.
“Apart from a modest variety of things, which are necessary to by regulation, as they have been washed and prepared by the supplier.”
She said the retailer has “everyday deliveries to our warehouses the place team check the inventory on arrival and then we have committed store team in all of our outlets examining the new veggies through the day”.
SuperValu, which said it is “dedicated to lowering meals squander when preserving the basic safety and premium-excellent typical,” is between the supermarkets which has also executed the plan.
A spokesperson mentioned: “We have previously extended the shelf-lifetime of 20% of our fruit and vegetable items while also eradicating dates from selected Very own Brand name fruit and vegetable products and solutions.
“A further more 20% of our fruit and vegetable goods are bought as unfastened and do not have dates applied, permitting customers to make an knowledgeable choice.”
On the other hand, SuperValu reported it retains greatest-ahead of dates “on some perishable fruit and vegetable products this kind of as new berries to deliver our customers with the reliable high-quality they be expecting.”
Marks & Spencer has also mentioned it is identified to “tackle foodstuff squander” and do all it can to make absolutely sure food is not thrown absent.
A spokesperson for the company explained as component of a selection of steps, it has been “removing greatest before dates wherever safe to do so”.
M&S also mentioned it has been performing with the Neighbourly Group Fund to redistribute surplus food.
“The other side of the challenge is generating confident something edible we never market reaches people who have to have it most,” it mentioned.