A rule change by food administrators DVFA means that the stores are no longer forced to throw food out once the 'best before' date has been exceeded.
“Products can often be eaten safely after the ‘best before’ date if they haven’t been opened and have been stored properly,” consumer advisor Camilla Udsen told DR. “Previously, stores could not sell an item if the date had been past. They can now.”
The rules changed at the beginning of the year to bring Denmark into line with EU labelling rules.
“If the new rules prevent us throwing out perfectly good food, that is a good thing,” said Udsen. “But stores need to ensure that the food is good and clearly label that the food has exceeded the expiration date.”
Shops not on board
Udsen also stressed that the rule change applied only to the ‘best before’ date. Foods labelled with ‘use by’ must still be thrown out when the date has past.
The county’s two largest wholesalers, Coop and Dansk Supermarked, were not impressed by the law change.
“We do not want to take part in the change,” Karin Frøidt, a quality manager at Coop, told DR. “At Coop, we want to provide fresh products to our customers and provide consumers with a good experience when they shop with us.”
Frøidt said that Coop has had good experience with lowering the prices of goods that are approaching their 'best before’ date.
“We have had several stores lower prices on goods nearing expiration and it has reduced our food waste by 25 percent,” said Frøidt.