By David Saunders | UPDATED: 05:28, 21 January 2020
With environmental issues at the forefront, how can we tackle such a problem? One way could be by reassessing the expiry dates of food.
Would you eat food that had passed its expiry date?
This is the question online marketplace OnBuy.com asked 2,384 Brits to establish attitudes towards the food industry.
Brits will risk some expired foods more than others. While the top choices bring little surprise, some items are noteworthy.
Expired fresh meats like chicken and beef can contain salmonella, E. coli and more, yet a whopping 25% of Brits are willing to eat it.
At risk of their health, Brits are at least tackling food waste. When asked if they throw items as soon as they ‘expire’, only 12% said yes – 39% said no and the remaining 49% sensibly think it depends on the item.
We also no longer rely on use-by dates. 30% stated they always use the ‘smell test’ to assess the quality of items. This is followed by:
As such, do we trust the smell test over official guidelines? Apparently so. 18% stated they always risk eating items once smelling them, followed by:
Furthermore, we arguably don’t care anymore. Only 55% understand the difference between various food labels (use-by, best before, sell-by), with a shocking 17% stating no and 28% sort of.
Is the food industry too wasteful?
The majority of Brits question the efficacy of date labels.
When asked, 72% believe that use-by dates are too cautious, with 19% disagreeing with the statement and 9% unsure. We overwhelmingly believe companies contribute too much to food waste.
The following statement was also considered: Supermarkets should sell products a day or two past their expiry at a significantly reduced price.
45% strongly agree, followed by slightly agree (24%), neither agree nor disagree (17%), slightly disagree (10%) and finally strongly disagree (4%).
Finally, 63% believe supermarkets should scrap use-by/best before dates altogether. While own-line fruit and vegetables no longer feature dates, a resounding number believe they contribute too much to household waste. Compared with 20% saying no and 17% unsure.