Study blames best-before labels for food waste

A study on reducing Canada's massive amount of food waste says best-before labels are a major cause of that waste.

The National Zero Waste Council says many people don't know what the confusing and unnecessary labels mean.

Denise Philippe, who helped write the report, says many think a best-before date means if they eat food after that date, there's going to be a health problem, but that's not true.``

She says with the exception of products such as eggs, best-before dates refer to food quality, not safety, and many products that carry the dates don't even need them.

The council has been considering how to reduce food waste since 2016 and Philippe says best-before labels have emerged as major villains.

She says Canada needs to standardize the labels and use terms such as ``use by,'' ``freeze by,'' or ``tastes best by.''

Research suggests Canadians are among the biggest food-wasters in the world.