Use by dates took a further step towards the bin this week after a report published by the Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) recommended that they be scrapped on low risk products.

Only placing Use by dates on food which could pose a danger to health would help to significantly reduce the 5.3m tonnes of food wasted in UK every year, the report said.

Date-Coding Review Group chairman Harold Gay, who helped to compile the report, said: “Industry brings a unique and valuable perspective to what is a complex regulatory issue, and we thank LBRO for providing business with a voice.

“The present use by date labelling regime leads to confusion for food businesses, and increases risks for consumers by diluting key food safety messages. We feel that the waste of so much food every year presents an overwhelming moral cause to take action in its own right.”

The report has now been presented to business minister Mark Prisk.