M&S Embraces Sniff Test Over ‘Use-By’ Dates for Milk – A New Approach to Food Waste Reduction!

Marks & Spencer has decided to remove use-by dates from their milk and will instead use best before dates, encouraging customers to rely on a sniff test to determine if their milk has gone sour. The change is an effort to reduce waste, as around 490 million pints of milk, worth £270 million, are wasted each year in the UK because they have passed their use-by date. This move is in line with M&S’s commitment to battling food waste, as milk is the third most discarded food in UK homes, following only bread and potatoes. Other retailers, such as Morrisons, have already made the switch from use-by dates to best before dates on milk packaging. Although using sensory cues, such as smelling dairy products, can help determine if a product with a best before date is edible, it is not a reliable method for items with use-by dates, as they may contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning even if they appear and smell fine. The initiative to eliminate use-by dates on milk is part of a broader trend to reduce food waste; retailers such as Tesco and Co-op have similarly altered their food labeling. The sniff test is an old method to determine food freshness that has been around for a century, and while it can work for best before products, caution is recommended for use-by dated items.


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