Lidl GB has announced that it will scrap ‘use by’ dates in favour of ‘best before’ dates on its dairy products to help customers reduce food waste at home.

The retailer said the labelling changes on its yoghurt and fresh milk ranges are being implemented to help prevent “entirely edible food” being thrown away.

The updated milk packaging has already started filtering into stores across England and Wales, and Lidl said customers can expect to see the change on yoghurts from early 2024.

Head of Buying at Lidl GB, Richard Inglis, said: “At Lidl, we know that a lot of perfectly good milk and yoghurt is being thrown away because of ‘use by’ dates.

“It therefore makes total sense to us to make the switch to ‘best before’ so that shoppers can use their own judgement on whether their milk or yoghurt is good to consume.

“We’ve got a long record of making positive change to reduce food waste, and this latest step builds on our commitment to helping households tackle food waste at home.”

Lidl said milk and yoghurt that has been stored correctly and does not smell bad or appear lumpy is “safe to enjoy”.

The retailer is therefore encouraging customers to “use their judgment” and be guided by ‘best before’ dates to help determine whether to consume.  

The change to labelling aims to bolster existing action by the retailer to tackle food waste.

These actions include initiatives to tackle waste in stores, such as its ‘Too Good to Waste’ boxes which help reduce food waste by 17,000t/year by selling 5kg of surplus fruit and vegetables for only £1.50.