Too good to throw away: the date of minimum durability of food promotes waste
According to experts, a minimum of eleven million tons of food end up in Germany every year in the trash. A large part of this food could still be consumed. Consumer advocates point out that the incorrect handling of the date of minimum durability (best before date) contributes significantly to food waste.
Waste of food
Every year, millions of tons of food end up in the garbage, although they were often still edible. Experts advise, although food is not rashly to throw away, but often, the date of minimum durability is being misunderstood. In most cases, food will keep for longer than is specified. Some can be consumed even months or years after the expiration of the MHD.
Can be consumed a product with expired shelf life, without restrictions?
The Fraunhofer Institute recently presented a small Food-Scanner that can detect whether or not a product is even more durable, by using infrared light, the actual freshness of food.
According to the experts, the device should help to reduce the waste of food.
Also the Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg, the Board Deutschland e. V. and the Wiener Tafel to launch together an action for the reduction of food waste.
As the consumer advocate reports, in a communication, the consumer information to the minimum durability date and the question to you: Can be consumed a product with expired shelf life, without restrictions, in the focus.
People should trust their own senses
As it says in the message, end up in Germany every year, at least eleven million tons of food in the garbage instead of on the dinner table. Much of this waste could be avoided.
In Austria there are more than 760,000 tonnes, around 577.000 of which are considered preventable. Especially the wrong use of the minimum durability date (MDD) contributes significantly to food waste.
“The date of minimum durability is not a ‘use by’ date! Food can be days, weeks, or even months after the expiry of preserved“, said Jochen Brühl, Chairman of the Board Deutschland e. V..
“With our action we want to encourage people to trust their senses, to smell, to taste, to try, whether something is still good or not,” says Brühl.
“Much discussion is needed, which shows our published poster to MHD, which has become an absolute Internethit. Almost 2 million people have seen it in the Social media, thousands discuss.“
On the poster, and a Flyer of a variety of foods to see with the note, as long as these can be consumed through the date of minimum durability.
In many of them the note is given “1 year”.
Proper food is thrown away
“With our research results to the shelf life of various foods, the Wiener Tafel has hit a nerve,” said Dr. Alexandra Gruber, Director of the Vienna Board and Chairwoman of the Association of Austrian panels.
“We have shared with the Board in Germany as the basis for the Poster and are pleased that our findings can draw wider circles.”
Both the employees and the people supported, to be aware of: “The date of minimum durability is to be help a orientation, just as important is the control of the edibility with the own senses – is; Look, Smell, Feel, Taste,“ says Dr. Gruber.
“From fear of health hazards, many people throw unfortunately proper food in the garbage,” added Silke Schwartau, head of the Department of nutrition and food in the consumer advice center of Hamburg.
“You don’t have to be afraid of food infections, if to trust his own senses. However, many consumers are in any doubt at all,“ said the expert.