MSE News: Anti-waste charity calls for review into 'use by' dates

'Use by' dates on foods such as milk and yoghurt could be downgraded to 'best before' dates to prevent wastage...
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'Anti-waste charity calls for review into 'use by' dates on frequently-wasted food'
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  • I'm not sure that this is going to make any difference to MSE regulars! We're a canny bunch with faith in the sniff test.
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  • MobeerMobeer Forumite
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    Can't see this making any real difference - most everyone I know will throw away anything past its best before date (including me). Some will throw away items before such dates just to be safe.
  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
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    I find that yogurts a day or two after the "use by" date are normally fine. Cheese is just milk that's gone off already, so I don't care too much about the dates on that.

    On the other hand, if I find any meat products past their use by date, they go straight in the bin. There are some nasty diseases that grow in meat, and not all of them smell of anything.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    Eggs - ate some yesterday 7 days after the UB date. Fine
    Yoghurts - ate some last week dated 5 days previously. Fine. I have bought a 8 pack of Activia yoghurts for 20p on the day of the UB - ate two a day.
    Milk (skimmed) - fine after 3 days. The lower the fat content, the longer it can be used after the UB date as its the fat that goes off.

    Cheese - if its hard stuff and has a bit of blue mould, get a cheese slicer and slice the mould off. Its fine underneath.
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    Many people that waste food don't think its money they are throwing away.

    I also know people make a spag bol for example, serve two ladles of the mix to each person - then bin the rest. Can be boxed up, frozen down. Using a tin of beans, some breadcrumbs and some cheese. Can make a lovely mince bean bake. Costing about 50p-£1.20 more, depending on the beans used, if bread and/or cheese is a YS item.
  • liviboyliviboy Forumite
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    Milk currently has a Use By date but additionally a carton states that it should be used within 3 days of opening...

    So even if my milk has a use-by date 2 weeks from now, once opened it gets binned after 3 days because the label says so. I presume this use within has the same meaning as use by and overrides the original use by date...

    Am I right or wrong?

    I'm really funny with milk and it gets binned regardless of use by or use within dates.
  • jon81ukjon81uk Forumite
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    liviboy wrote: »
    Milk currently has a Use By date but additionally a carton states that it should be used within 3 days of opening...

    So even if my milk has a use-by date 2 weeks from now, once opened it gets binned after 3 days because the label says so. I presume this use within has the same meaning as use by and overrides the original use by date...

    Am I right or wrong?

    I'm really funny with milk and it gets binned regardless of use by or use within dates.

    I keep four pint bottles of milk way longer than 3 days. Once it gets close to the useby I will sniff it and chuck if I'm unsure. But I don't throw away at 3 days, that would mean far too many trips to the shops.
  • jon81uk wrote: »
    I keep four pint bottles of milk way longer than 3 days. Once it gets close to the useby I will sniff it and chuck if I'm unsure. But I don't throw away at 3 days, that would mean far too many trips to the shops.

    I also have different standards depending on the use - I'll cook with milk I think is turning even if it's a bit past where I'd drink a glass of it. I'm currently finishing off my milk dated 26/2 in my tea! It's fine for that. I think we should encourage folks to assess food for themselves more - use by dates are a worst case scenario, not a reflection of how each person stores and uses their food.
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    Milk at home is open for 9 days.

    Never had a problem.

    Sauces say once open keep in fridge for 6 weeks. Eighteen months later I'm still here.
  • TravellingAbuelaTravellingAbuela Forumite
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    I was born in the mid 1940's. We didn't have sell-by or use-by dates in those days, nor did we have a fridge to help keep items fresh. We had a meat safe in the pantry for meat, butter and cheese and milk was kept in a bucket of cold water. Food was never thrown away as it was too precious thanks to the ongoing rationing. I don't recall us all dropping like flies with food poisoning either!

    I don't take a blind bit of notice of sell by/use by dates. The good old sniff test and a bit of common sense is all that's needed.
    "If you dream alone it will remain just a dream. But if we all dream together it will become reality"
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