Best Before vs Use By Dates

Best Before vs Use By Dates

Now more than ever, food waste is one of the most important issues facing the UK as each year we throw away 7.3 million tonnes of food according to the Food Standards Agency. 

Simply knowing about the the difference between best before and use-by dates is really important, as this helps to reduce the amount of food waste we produce, whilst keeping food safe.

We've broken down the difference between these two terms below, following information from the UK Government's Food Standards Agency website here

Some foods deteriorate over time which may present a food safety risk. For example, this includes some meat or dairy products and is usually labelled with a use-by date. A use-by date on food is about safety and is the most important date to remember. You should never consume food after the use-by date, even if it looks and smells okay as it could make you very ill. 

On the other hand, best before dates are about quality. Sometimes shown as BBE, this label means that the food will be safe to eat after this date, but may not be at its best, and its flavour and texture might not be as good. BBE dates appear on a wide range of foods including frozen items, dried foods, tinned foods and cheese. 

For foods with a BBE date, you can use sensory cues to find out if it is appropriate to eat such as the 'sniff test'. 

Our kits only contain dry ambient ingredients which follow best before guidelines. They have a typical BBE date of up to 6 months, but are completely safe to sell and eat after this point. Therefore, you can follow the 'sniff test' to check if the food is appropriate to consume, in turn helping us to avoid food waste in a safe and practical way. 

The government has also considered scrapping BBE dates to help prevent food waste, as it can give a misleading impression that food is no longer suitable for consumption. As part of our sustainability efforts and to help minimise food waste, we have a selection of dessert kits currently on offer due to short BBE dates which you can shop here

For more information on use-by vs best before dates, you can also watch the video below. 

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