Trading Standards have been undergoing supermarket surveillance to determine if supermarkets across Derby are selling items to citizens that are beyond their use by date.

This year Trading Standards officers have visited 15 supermarkets around the city, and have found over 30 items which are being sold past their use by dates.

Use by dates are predominantly used on perishable foods such as meat and dairy products, as well as ready to eat sandwiches and salads. When these foods past their used by dates, the content may start to perish and can potentially cause food poisoning.

Fakir Osman, Team Leader for Trading Standards at Derby City Council said:

A use by date is a key bit of food labelling that helps consumers ensure the quality of the food is safe to eat. This is extremely important as in some cases consuming food past its use by date can lead to food poisoning and illness. We endeavour to take action against retailers who continue to display and sell food past their use by date to Derby citizens.

Used by dates should be clearly marked on packaging, if you can’t find a use by date, if it isn’t clearly marker or the food item has gone past its use by date, then you should inform a member of staff and report it to Citizens Advice.

Other less perishable food like frozen, dried and tinned foods will have a best before date or best before end, which is sometimes shown as BBE. This date refers to the quality of the food rather than its safety. Best before food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at it’s best quality, flavour and texture.

If you notice food that is being sold past its use by date, then you can report it to Citizens Advice by calling 03454 040506 for investigation.