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Sainsbury's to change food freezing advice

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is to relax the traditional ‘freeze on day of purchase’ advice on its labels in a bid to slash food waste.

Labels being rolled out across the UK will instead advise customers to freeze as soon as possible up to the use-by date.

The move is being made in partnership with the Waste & Resources Action Programme, which hopes it will prevent up to 800,000 tonnes of food waste.

Sainsbury’s head of product technology Beth Hart said: “There is no food safety reason why it cannot be frozen at any point prior to the use by date.

“As a large retailer, we have a responsibility to minimise food waste where possible and this new labelling will certainly help us do that.”

WRAP consumer food waste prevention manager Andrew Parry said: “Changing the guidance to freeze before the use by date is a welcome move.

“Now we can all look in our fridges and know we can freeze most items which are about to go out of date and enjoy them at a later time. In doing so we can expect to reduce the amount of out-of-date food we throw away, which will in turn save us all money.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Freezing after the day of purchase shouldn’t pose a food safety risk as long as food has been stored in accordance with any instructions provided. The most important thing is to freeze food before its use by date as that is the only date that relates to food safety. The Food Standards Agency's advice continues to be to follow the use by date and treat all other dates more flexibly. Any initiatives such as this, to help reduce food waste, should be welcomed as long as food safety isn’t compromised. For more information on how to store food safely, visit: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/homehygiene/Pages/how-to-store-food-safely.aspx

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