Government plans to extend sell-by dates by a week
Yoghurt, one of the products involved
SPAIN The Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Food, Miguel Arias Cañete, announced last week that his ministry was looking into 'delaying' the sell-by dates on some food because Spain 'wastes' 7.7 million tons a year', which he considers intolerable. Sell-by dates would therefore be put back one week. He specifically mentioned yoghurt, about which he said that if he saw a pot of it that was over a week older, he would 'eat it without thinking about it.'. At present yoghurt is 'good' for 28 days and would be extended to 35. But this was not the only product. Arias Cañete said that some 89 million tons of perfectly good food was thrown out in the European Union. The Food Safety Agency ( Agencia de Seguridad Alimentaria) will be deciding on whether the date should be 'best by' or 'sell-by'; it is already working on the entire list of foodstuffs sold in the country with a view to changing labelling regulations. This, he said, is a long, slow process.