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Climate-ABC: Shelf Life

The best before date is by no means the same as the actual shelf life of food. Rather, it indicates the last date on which the manufacturing company gives a guarantee that the previously unopened product will keep (provided it has been stored according to the manufacturer’s recommendations).

The indication of best-before dates (BBD) on packaging combined with ignorance about the actual shelf life of food is one of the reasons why many foods that are actually still durable end up in the trash. Even in supermarkets, food is often thrown away after exceeding the BBD. From this point on, it is no longer the manufacturer but the supermarket that is liable. Initiatives like foodsharing or toogoodtogo turn against the food waste and make it possible to save still durable products. Another reason for wastefulness that should not be neglected is the overproduction of food.

Foodsharing. (2020). Willkommen bei Foodsharing. Home.  https://foodsharing.de/

Verbraucherzentrale. (2020, 10 16). Mindesthaltbarkeitsdatum (MHD) ist nicht gleich Verbrauchsdatum. Verbraucherzentrale. https://www.verbraucherzentrale.de/wissen/lebensmittel/auswaehlen-zubereiten-aufbewahren/mindesthaltbarkeitsdatum-mhd-ist-nicht-gleich-verbrauchsdatum-13452