‘Smell By’ Labels To Help Reduce Food Waste

‘Smell By’ Labels To Help Reduce Food Waste

A new scratch’n’sniff ‘smell by’ label had been developed to help train people as to when food has gone off and it needs disposing of.

According to the Metro, the Nose Sense campaign, launched on 5 October by food waste initiative Too Good To Go, has been developed to encourage people to be able to tell if food can still be eaten despite misleading ‘best before’ dates.

The scratch’n’sniff labels are a range of stickers that contain scents of what food that’s gone off smells like. Too Good To Go state that over 660,000 tonnes of food is wasted every year in the UK.

The initiative thinks that it could be due to a lack of understanding about the labelling of food and that half of Brits obey the date label, and a two-thirds believe that eggs are inedible past the date label.

However, by implementing ‘nose-training’ on key smells, consumers are more likely to avoid implicitly obeying ‘best before’ dates, resulting in the prevention of millions of pounds worth of food waste each year. The ‘smell by’ labels current cover food staples such as eggs, juice, beer, and oats, as they are some of the most common, but also most incorrectly disposed of.

Unbelievably, there is £150 million worth of beer wasted every year, and 160,000 tonnes of fruit juices and smoothies and nearly 400,000 eggs are thrown away. Oats contribute to a further £210 million of waste annually.

Jamie Crummie, the co-founder of Too Good To Go, said: “Our love for food is stronger than ever since lockdown, but the food waste issue hurts both the environment and our pockets.

“Our mission is to help everyone fight food waste together. We want labelling to be clearer across the board, but also to help consumers better understand when they really must throw food away – and these “smell by” labels are a vital part of that journey.”

The campaign aims to help create a permanent change in behaviour in people to stop disposing of food items unnecessarily.

The ‘smell by’ labels are part of a wider education initiative by Too Good To Go, and the company is working towards collaborating with retailers in the future to see if the stickers can reach food packaging.

The stickers can be ordered for free from the Nose Sense website, allowing consumers to attach them to products, or elsewhere in the kitchen for reference, so when needed, people can revisit the sticker if they suspect food might on the turn and understand if the food is safe to eat or not.

Scratch’n’sniff stickers have previously been used to help advise consumers on how to determine particular smells, including helping households identify the smell of a gas leak.

Currently, food labels display either a ‘best by’ date, which refers to quality not safety, ‘display until’, which is for retailers stock control, and ‘use by, which should be adhered to, as food should not be consumed after that date.

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