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Milk is the most likely item to go off in your fridge

November 20, 2019

Milk has been named the item most likely to go off in the nation’s fridges, with a third caught out by a sour scent in their cereal or tea.

A survey of 2,000 Brits has revealed 33 per cent think milk is the item in their home most often thrown away because the bottle or carton has gone beyond its best.

Other dairy products such as yogurt, butter and cheese were also highlighted as products likely to overstay their welcome in the fridge before going in the bin.

This comes as the average Brit believes they spend £61 each week on food and drink but nearly £9 of this will end up in the bin after going out of date.

Divya Chopra, CEO, Noluma, which requested the study, said: “With each Brit throwing away an estimated £500 a year in out-of-date food as a result of inadequate packaging or storage, it is clear the issue has significant financial implications.

“This can be reduced through consumer education, protection from indoor light damage, and better packaging.”

One in five Brits are happy consuming an item which has passed its use-by date, and over a third will risk a bite on a product past its best-before date.

More specifically, Brits believe cheese is safe to eat 10 days on from its use-by, and milk has a grace period of five days beyond the marked date.

A pot of yogurt is still deemed good to go six days after its time has come, while Brits believe biscuits, soft drinks and condiments are all safe to consume for a further two weeks.

One in four Brits will risk eating something past its use-by date so that it doesn’t go to waste.

When it comes to correct food storage, three in five Brits think the rightful home of a carton of eggs is in the fridge, while one in seven will opt to store them in the cupboard or on the side.

Over a third of those surveyed prefer their chocolate treats refrigerated, compared to 45 per cent who demand their confectionery at room temperature.

Forty-two per cent of Brits leave their loaf of bread to its own devices in the cupboard, and one in four keep it on the worktop or side.

And three in 10 Brits flirt with disaster by keeping their mayonnaise outside of a refrigerated environment.

Storage in the wrong place was identified by the 2,000 Brits surveyed as the factor most likely to cause an item to go off before its time, followed by exposure to heat and being stored in damaged or open packaging.

Though more than two thirds were unaware that exposure to an light source can cause certain foods and packaging to deteriorate at a faster rate.

And only one in 10 Brits quizzed in the survey, conducted by identified light-protected packaging as an effective way to keep products fresh up to their use-by date.

Chopra added: “We think Brits should also be made aware of some of the other factors which can lead their favourite foods and beverages to sour before they can be used, such as the surprising impact of indoor light on certain products, including LED, fluorescent and refrigerator lights.”

Food Waste Infographic