More than 60% of Canadians are opposed to the removal of expiry dates, reveals a new study from Dalhousie University.
For Éric Ménard, expert in the fight against food waste, this result is not surprising.
“Most people misunderstand the meaning of the best before date on products, and there is great pressure from consumers to keep that date,” he said.
Éric Ménard explains that the meaning of the expiry date differs from one product to another.
“For raw animal products, the expiry date is really approaching a safety date. You have to respect it, otherwise there are health risks,” he concedes.
However, for other categories of products, the expiry date is rather an indication of the freshness of the food.
“For example yogurt, to have the best possible quality, it should be eaten before the best before date, but it can still be good several weeks later,” he says.
Éric Ménard does not believe, however, that removing the expiry date is the best solution to counter food waste.
“I think that it is especially necessary to educate on this date. We could add details about the meaning of the date on the packaging, but I don’t think removing it will solve the problem.