To reduce food waste and unnecessary shrink, Tesco plans to nix “best by” dates on produce.

Consumers are confused about the difference between “best before” and “use by” dates, which results in edible food being discarded, according an article on Fortune.

Fewer than half of respondents in a survey by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes knew what the dates meant.

Mark Little, Tesco's head of food waste, told the BBC the company plans to remove the dates from more than 70 fruit and vegetable items. 

"We know some customers may be confused by the difference between 'best before' and 'use by' dates on food and this can lead to perfectly edible items being thrown away before they need to be discarded," Little told the BBC. 

Standardization of date labeling is the No. 1 food waste prevention solution, ranked by potential financial impact, according to ReFED, a nonprofit network U.S. businesses dedicated to reducing food waste 50% by 2030.

The diversion potential, according to ReFED, is the equivalent of 398,000 tons of food from landfill, with an economic value per ton of $4,547.

ReFED developed a Date Labeling Standardization Tool and Guidelines for the industry, which is available here.

 

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