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Green Hack: food

Don't throw away useable foods if they're after their best-before date


Can I eat foods after their 'best-before' dates?

'Best-before' dates refer to food quality, not safety (1). The UK Food Standards Agency suggests that a foodstuff past its best-before date "will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best" (1). Using up edible food even past its best-before date reduces food waste and unnecessary purchase of more produce.

The internet is a useful tool if you want to check whether a certain foodstuff is still safe to eat. Many tinned products will seldom go off if stored correctly, and dried items like teas and herbs/spices typically only lose their flavour over time instead of becoming unsafe to consume.


  1. Best before and use by dates (2021). Food Standards Agency.