Families are urged to use their nose to check if yoghurt is off

Try the sniff-test! Families are urged to use their nose to check if yoghurt is off as Co-op scraps sell-by date

  • Half of yoghurt pots are thrown away unopened as they were ‘not used in time’
  • About 42,000 tonnes, worth £100million, a year are currently thrown out
  • Some retailers have stopped putting use-by dates on milk and fresh produce 

Use-by dates are to be scrapped on yoghurts sold by the Co-op in a bid to cut food waste.

Pots will have a ‘best before’ date, with shoppers encouraged to use a ‘sniff test’ to decide if it is still good to eat.

Half of yoghurt pots are thrown away unopened – in seven out of ten cases because they were ‘not used in time’.

Use-by dates are to be scrapped on yoghurts sold by the Co-op in a bid to cut food waste (stock image)

About 42,000 tonnes of the snack a year, worth £100million, are currently thrown out.

The Co-op’s Nick Cornwell said: ‘The acidity of yoghurt acts as a natural defence and we would encourage shoppers to use their judgment on the quality of their yoghurt if it is past the best-before date.’

The move is part of a wider strategy by retailers. Some have stopped putting use-by dates on milk and fresh produce, with further changes in the pipeline.

Catherine David, from the food waste charity WRAP, welcomed the move, saying: ‘Wasting food feeds climate change and costs money.’

Pots will have a ‘best before’ date, with shoppers encouraged to use a ‘sniff test’ to decide if it is still good to eat (the Co-op store in Redcliffe, Bristol)

She added: ‘We’re delighted to see Co-op making this change to its entire yoghurt range, as we know that the date label on yoghurt is a fundamental reason that it is wasted at home.

‘Applying a best before date helps give people the confidence to use their judgement to eat beyond a best before date and use more of the yoghurt they buy – protecting the planet and their pockets.’

In 2021, Co-op removed date labels on several fresh produce lines as part of an ongoing trial and also offers on pack storage advice on a number of its ranges to help cut waste.

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