The European Commission estimates that up to 10% of the 88 million tons of food waste generated annually in the EU is related to food labeling.
Best before date
With the best-before date, the producer guarantees that the product will retain its full fitness for consumption at least until that date if properly stored. However, food producers are very cautious about this, as the law stipulates that they must guarantee the greatest possible safety for consumers.
In general, exceeding the best-before date does not mean that a food is no longer fit for consumption. It means that a food product can usually be kept longer than the best-before date indicates. How much longer depends on the product and also on the storage of the product until this date.
Therefore, before processing or consuming food, check for abnormalities. Use several senses: smell, examine, touch and also taste (for example, milk before pouring it into coffee).
Very perishable goods (e.g. fish and raw meat) have a use-by date ("to be consumed by"). A food product past this date is no longer considered safe. Under no circumstances should it be eaten again, but disposed of immediately.