MADRID The Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Food is planning to push back many foods' sell-by dates, by a week. Minister Miguel Arias-Cañete said recently that this is because a large amount of food is squandered in Spain, which he considers intolerable. Some 7.7 million tons of food is thrown away every year, says the ministry. "What we're doing with yoghurt, and a lot of other products, is to see if we can't extend their shelf lives; the dairy industry is asking us to prolong by a week beyond its present 28 days," said the minister in a TV interview.>>>
Arias Cañete added that it is the Food Safety Agency that will decide if it's the sell-by or the best-by dates that could be altered. "It makes no sense that close to 89 million tons of perfectly good food is destroyed in Europe," he said. "In Spain, the 7.7 million tons represents what is purchased in 42% of homes." He also said that the process his Department is undergoing in revising dates for several thousand products is a lengthy one, which he hoped would be finished by year's end. "We have been working for some time on a strategy that will allow for reduction and usage of out-of-date food. We're also working on a way to avoid loss of production, processing and excessive, unnecessary sales to the home."