Supermarket chain Morrisons have announced that it is scrapping Use By dates on own brand milk in favour of a 'sniff test' in a move to reduce food waste at home. The change will come into play from 31st January when the chain will scrap 'Use By' dates on 90 per cent of its own brand milk, including British and Scottish milks, Morrisons For Farmers milks and Morrisons organic milks in store.
It's estimated that 490 million pints of milk wasted in the UK every year and Morrisons anticipates the move will stop millions of pints of its own brand milk from being thrown away every year. The supermarket chain will instead encourage its customers to use a simple sniff test to check if their milk is still good to consume. The milk packaging will show 'Best Before' dates to indicate to customers when they should drink it by - to get the best taste. Unlike some other fresh products, drinking milk after a 'Best Before' date is not a food safety issue.
Ian Goode, Senior Milk Buyer at Morrisons, said: "Wasted milk means wasted effort by our farmers and unnecessary carbon being released into the atmosphere. Good quality well-kept milk has a good few days life after normal 'Use By' dates - and we think it should be consumed not tipped down the sink. So we're taking a bold step today and asking customers to decide whether their milk is still good to drink. Generations before us have always used the sniff test - and I believe we can too."
Milk is the third most wasted food and drink product in the UK, after potatoes and bread, with around 490 million pints wasted every year. And milk has the largest carbon footprint of these food and drink products because its production is so resource-intensive. One litre of milk can account for up to 4.5kg of CO2.
Research shows fresh milk can often last a number of days past the 'Use By' date shown on the bottle. However UK customers are routinely throwing away milk - as they incorrectly believe the milk is unsafe to drink.