The British supermarket Morrisons has decided to remove “use-by” dates on milk packaging by the end of the month in an effort to save millions of pints of milk from being needlessly thrown away each year.
Instead, the supermarket is inviting their customers to use the traditional, age-old test to figure out whether milk is still good for consumption: the sniff test.
The UK chucks about 330,000 tons of usable milk every year, which according to numbers from 2018 provided by food waste charity Wrap, is about 7 percent of the nation’s total production. Most of the wasted milk is disposed of within the home, making it the third most-wasted food in the UK, championed only by potatoes and bread.
Morrisons asks their customers to check milk by holding the bottle to their nose. If it smells sour, then it’s likely spoiled. Customers can also look to see if the milk has curdled by seeing if lumps have formed. Keeping milk cool and securely cold as much as possible can help extend its life.
For now, the shift away from “use-by” dates will cover 90 percent of the supermarket’s home milk brands, including British and Scottish milks, Morrisons For Farmers milks, and Morrisons organic milks. Morrison has already removed “use-by” dates on some of its home brand yogurts and hard cheese ranges back in 2020.
“I am delighted that Morrisons is the first UK supermarket to take this important step to help reduce household food waste,” says Wrap’s chief executive Marcus Gover. “It shows real leadership and we look forward to more retailers reviewing date labels on their products and taking action.”