Morrisons adopts ‘sniff test’ for milk

Morrisons will scrap ‘use by’ dates on 90% of its own brand milk at the end of January as part of a drive to cut food waste and carbon emissions.

The move will see Morrisons become the first UK supermarket to display ‘best before’ dates only and encourage shoppers to use a ‘sniff test’ to decide if their milk is still good to drink.

Use by dates will be scrapped from Morrisons own brand British and Scottish milks, Morrisons For Farmers milks and Morrisons organic milks. Morrisons South West milk and The Best Jersey milk are yet to be converted.

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. Morrisons said it expects the change to save millions of pints from being thrown away and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with dairy production.

WRAP has recently led a drive to encourage food businesses to remove unnecessary date labels. Best practice developed by the charity along with the Food Standards Agency and DEFRA is to only apply a use by date when required for food safety reasons.

Morrisons previously scrapped use by dates across some of its own-brand yoghurt and hard cheese ranges in 2020.

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

Wrap CEO Marcus Gover praised the supermarket’s “important step” to reduce waste. “Making improvements to labelling forms an important part of WRAP’s efforts under the Courtauld Commitment 2030 to reduce household food waste. It is fantastic to see Morrisons, as a Courtauld signatory, making this change – giving people the confidence to use their judgment and consume more of the milk they buy.”

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