Best before dates on food are displayed on the labels of the food we buy and they are there to help us understand when the food is at its best to eat, after this date the food will start to change. For example the texture, consistency and taste may alter after the best before date, but the food will still be safe to eat. The best before date is meant as a guide, it is not a safety guide but a guide to when it is best to eat. Food that has passed this date is still edible. The Food Standards Agency advises that you can eat food passed its best before date but it may not be of optimal quality. It is also important to remember that the best before date will only be accurate if the food is stored as per the instructions on the label. Best before dates are can be found on all types of food but it is more likely to be on non perishable goods, such as canned foods.
To avoid unnecessary food waste it is important for consumers to use common sense when looking at best before labels, to smell and look at produce to see if it is fit to eat before we throw it away.