This information sheet provides additional background on the labelling guidance published by WRAP, and written in conjunction with the Food Standards Agency (FSA; in conjunction with FSA in Wales, FSA Northern Ireland and Food Standards Scotland) and Defra Labelling. It also describes the process by which input was gathered from those to whom the guidance is aimed at (food producers and retailers, hospitality and food services businesses, charitable and commercial redistribution organisations and those involved in the enforcement of labelling-related regulations), and contains a list of frequently asked questions and answers.

WRAP worked with Defra Labelling and the FSA (including FSA Wales, FSA NI and Food Standards Scotland) to develop updated guidance on the application of date and related (for example storage and freezing) advice on pack. A draft was consulted on in summer 2017, and a final version published in late 2017. This guidance aims to enable further reductions in food waste at home and remove key barriers to increased redistribution.

Scope of the guidance:

  • What the different date labels mean;
  • How to decide what date to apply (and the consequences of this decision);
  • Highlighting the importance of maximising both ‘closed’ and ‘open’ life, whilst ensuring quality and safety are maintained;
  • Highlighting the importance of correct storage guidance, including fridge temperature and freezing advice;
  • What can (and cannot) be done as the date approaches / is past (at home and for sale / redistribution); and
  • Responsibilities (both for food sold through normal channels and food redistributed)

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  • Development of best practice on food date labelling and storage advice.pdf

    PDF, 1.51 MB




Food and drink