Date labels, storage advice and freezing for food safety
This summary information produced by WRAP, the Food Standards Agency and Defra covers date labelling and storage instruction requirements for surplus food, in order for it to be safely redistributed. The aim is to increase the amount of food made available by food businesses for redistribution and accepted by recipient organisations.
Redistribution labelling guide
Covers date labelling and storage instruction requirements for surplus food, in order for it to be safely redistributed, along with guidance for freezing and relabelling fresh food, and was originally published in 2017. The guide outlines simple information across five key food categories that typically carry a ‘Best Before’ date:
- uncut fresh produce;
- bread and bakery;
- ambient soft drinks;
- ambient products packaged in cans, jars, packets; and
- frozen foods.
It stresses the importance of visual checks of food and packaging to ensure the food is of good quality.
The information covers manufacturing, retail and supplier businesses, and all types of redistribution organisations.
This checklist highlights the essential labelling-related requirements for safely and legally redistributing surplus food, and the additional requirements when freezing food to be redistributed. This has been updated (April 2020) in line with the updated guidance.
The guidance or activities around the redistribution of surplus food does not change or replace the normal legal requirements that apply to the provision of food. A food business, which could be any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private, carrying out any activities related to any stage of food production, processing or distribution, is subject to food law - including safety and hygiene; as well as record-keeping and traceability.
Local authority Trading Standards Departments and Environmental Health Departments are responsible for advising on and enforcing food law. It is recommended that in the first instance Food Business Operators direct any questions around laws relating to the provision or handling of food that they may have, to their local authority enforcement team.
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