The supermarket said the changes were being made to urge customers to use their own judgement as to whether produce is good to eat after being bought and stored at home.
This move is one of the latest initiatives by Morrisons who are committed to reducing food waste by 50% by 2030.
Earlier this year, it was the first to replace ‘Use By’ dates with ‘Best Before’ dates on its own brand milk. In 2020, Morrisons also replaced ‘Use By’ dates across some of its own-brand yoghurt and hard cheese ranges.
Morrisons said it has already started to scrap dates on produce labels ahead of the start of the big Christmas food shop in mid-December. It revealed that whilst some items will have dates removed completely, items such as bananas, watermelon and pineapple, most will be replaced by a code system, which will be used by Morrisons staff to monitor freshness.
The supermarket chain has revealed that next year it aims to update its packaging for more perishable pre-packed products such as berries, grapes and stone fruit. The changes will see them move away from ‘Display Until’ and introduce ‘Best Before’ labelling to indicate the quality of produce to customers.
A survey by WRAP has showed that UK households waste 4.5 million tonnes of food, with fresh potatoes and carrots highlighted as some of the top wasted produce items in the home.
Damon Johnson, Head of Technical Produce and Horticulture, at Morrisons said: “Now more than ever it’s important to help our customers to reduce their food waste. We hope by removing dates from our produce lines, changing our messaging on packs and by providing our customers with advice on storage, we can support households in extending the life of their food and save customers money this Christmas.”
Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change at WRAP, called on more retailers to take this approach.
She said: “WRAP is thrilled to see these changes from Morrisons on its products to help tackle food waste in our homes. Wasting food feeds climate change and costs us money. The right date label, or no date label, has a big influence on what we use and what we throw away. For most fruit and veg, date labels are unnecessary, and our research has shown that removing them can save the equivalent of 7 million shopping baskets’ worth from our household bins a year.”