WRAP updates label advice to tackle food waste

In an effort to reduce food waste, WRAP has amended date and storage advice on packaging. 

The guidance, published by WRAP and produced in association with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), has suggested that new logos be added to aid consumers. These are a snowflake to show the item can be frozen and a blue fridge to show that an item should be kept chilled or would benefit from being kept in a fridge. 

According to WRAP, two million tonnes of food are wasted each year in UK homes purely from it not being used in time, with a third of this food waste triggered because of how shoppers interpret existing date labels.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “We know that confusing labels can contribute to food waste by suggesting that edible items need to be thrown away sooner than is necessary.

“This new guidance will make packaging much clearer for consumers, saving them money and reducing waste.

“I encourage all food businesses, large and small, to use this guidance to help them put the right date mark on food and help to guide people on the refrigeration and freezing of products, which are crucial to reducing the amount of edible food thrown away.”

Marcus Gover, CEO at WRAP, said: “A key way to help reduce household food waste is to give people as long as possible to use the food they buy. Labelling information can help with many aspects of this.

“Telling people clearly how long a product can be consumed once opened, and giving consistent and simple information about storing and freezing, will help people keep their food fresher for longer, and give more options to freeze the food and use it later - rather than binning food that could have been eaten.”

Heather Hancock, chairman of the FSA, added: “I welcome this clear guidance to help tackle food waste, without compromising the safety of food. It will help businesses supply food that is properly described and stored, and safely provided to consumers. Reducing food waste is really important to consumers. It’s a commitment we at the Food Standards Agency share with WRAP and Defra, and a growing majority of food businesses up and down the country.”

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