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Arla becomes first dairy firm to axe use-by dates

A poll of 2,000 adults by Arla Foods has found that 85% are confused by ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates, as well as storage information.

More than half (59 per cent) of respondents assume milk is unsafe to drink once the date has passed, and 14 per cent admitting they would bin it without checking to see if it could still be used.

Following these results, Arla Foods is to become the first dairy company to remove ‘use by’ dates on all branded fresh milk and replace with ‘best before’ dates only, in a bid to cut confusion and help reduce food waste.

To ensure this change helps consumers work out when their milk is still good to be used, Arla is calling on the nation to go online and vote for the label they want to see on milk bottles.

Fran Ball, Director of Quality, Environment and Safety, Arla Foods UK, said: ‘Our research shows that consumers are clearly confused about labelling on their food products, particularly when it comes to use by and best before dates.

‘As a nation, we waste around 490 million pints of milk every year. By making some changes to the labels on our fresh milk and yogurts, we want to make people’s lives a little easier and help to cut food waste in the home. To make sure everyone can easily understand our packaging, we’re asking them to tell us which label they want to see on our bottles.

‘Because we are owned by farmers, we know how much hard work goes into producing milk to Arla’s high quality standards. If changing the label gives people the confidence that their milk might still be ok for a few further days after the date on the bottle, we’ll all play a part in reducing food waste.’

This comes as research shows more than half (59 per cent) of respondents assuming milk is unsafe to drink once the date has passed, and 14 per cent admitting they would bin it without checking to see if it could still be used.

The new ‘best before’ labels will roll-out across all of Arla’s branded fresh milk including Cravendale, BOB and Goodness, with the entire yogurt portfolio also making the switch in 2020.