Morrisons to scrap use-by dates on milk in favour of ‘sniff test’

Morrisons to scrap use-by dates on milk in favour of ‘sniff test’
'Use by' are the dates until which perishable food can be cooked and consumed safely.
// Morrisons is removing “use-by” dates from its milk packaging by the end of January
// The grocer will instead place ‘best before’ on 90% of its own-brand milk and encourage customers to use a sniff test to check quality

The supermarket chain Morrisons is set to remove “use-by” dates from milk packaging by the end of January in an attempt to save millions of pints from being wasted.

The retailer is suggesting that customers should use a simple sniff test to work out whether or not the cow’s milk is off or still usable.

Bottles sold by Morrisons will still carry “best before” dates, which give customers an indication of when the milk will taste at its best, but the milk can can often still be used safely for several days after that point.


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, according to 2018 figures from food waste charity Wrap.

It also estimates 85 million pints of milk waste may be due to customers following ‘use by’ labels, despite research showing it can be used days after the date.

Morrisons believes the move could save seven million pints of its own-brand milk being poured away each year.

Morrisons senior milk buyer Ian Goode said: “Wasted milk means wasted effort by our farmers and unnecessary carbon being released into the atmosphere.”

He went on to explain: “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.”

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