Use-by and best-before dates have been endowed with an authority they do not deserve, and allow food manufacturers and supermarkets to play around with the concepts of freshness and safety

Rekindled by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s War on Waste programme, contributions to the seemingly intractable food-waste debate are piling up like an overstuffed compost bin. Environment secretary Liz Truss admitted that she ignores best-before dates; hardly a shocker that, because most people who have a grasp of the keeping properties of food do the same. Such is our creeping disillusionment with supermarkets, many of us are now inclined to trust our intuition as to whether a food can safely be used in some way or other. Such scepticism is a wholly positive trend – the best-before date has always been deeply dubious.

Related: Produced but never eaten: a visual guide to food waste

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Source: Guardian Environment