Every year, ten million tons of consumable food are thrown away in France. To combat this phenomenon, new mentions will appear on food.
Use-by date, expiry date… Consumers are sometimes lost when faced with the different indications on their products. To simplify the information, the government has therefore chosen to better explain the minimum durability date (DDM), which informs “the period during which the product retains all its taste and olfactory qualities“.
In order to avoid food waste and thesharp drop in sales of products close to their MDD“, a decree has just been added this Friday to the Official newspaper. This leaves the possibility for manufacturers to add a statement “informing consumers that the product remains consumableon their products. For example, the words “For optimal tasting» may be inserted before the indication of the DDM, indicated by «best before“. The mention the reference “this product can be consumed after this date», or any equivalent mention, is also authorized. For Olivia Grégoire,it is the role of the State to make information readable for the consumer on what can be consumed and what should not be“.
This measure should strengthen the arsenal against food waste. The DDM is often confused with the expiry date (DLC), which concerns “microbiologically very perishable foodstuffs» and constitutes «a mandatory limit after which the food must no longer be consumed“. On the labeling, the DLC is mentioned via the words “best before…», followed by the deadline.
However, many consumers treat these two dates in the same way and discard the food once the MDD has been reached, while it remains edible, “no risk to health», Mentions the DGCCRF. Provided that the packaging has not been damaged and that its specific qualities – visual appearance and smell – have not been altered. Each year, nearly 10 million tons of consumable food are thrown away in France, according to Ademe. “Absolute nonsensefor Olivia Grégoire, the Minister in charge of Trade, who calls on manufacturers to “seize this new opportunity to better inform about the possibility of consuming the products concerned after the date displayed and thus limit food waste“.