Freeze-by: Sainsbury’s chills over dates

freeze bySupermarket Sainsbury’s is relaxing its freeze-by advice in a move that it suggests will save billions of pounds in food waste.

The supermarket is to update product labeling (as pictured) to advise that suitable foods can be frozen “as soon as possible up to the use by date”. Typically the advice given has been to “freeze on day of purchase”.

Beth Hart, Sainsbury’s head of product technology for fresh and frozen said: “The ‘freeze on day of purchase’ advice needs to be changed as there is no food safety reason why it cannot be frozen at any point prior to the use by date.” She adds: “As a large UK retailer, we have a responsibility to minimise food waste where possible and this new labelling will certainly help us do that. As one customer pointed out to me while discussing the previous labelling, ‘how does the product know which day I purchased it on?'”

According to figures from the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)  UK households waste around 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink every single year, most of which could have been eaten, costing families up to  £50 every single month.  The figure amounts to a whopping £600 a year and is obviously an unnecessary cost in any household – freezing surplus food and saving leftovers does really pay for itself. It is not yet known if the other major supermarket chains are also changing their freeze-by labeling.

Among the WRAP food-saving suggestions is a tip to freeze milk and thaw in the fridge when you need it. I’ve previously tried this, freezing a four-pint container of semi-skinned with just a bit poured beforehand to allow for ice expansion. The issue I had was that it took an age to defrost in the fridge and was still pretty-much frozen when I actually needed it. So with milk maybe you might to plan ahead to allow for thawing?

Here’s a little tip that you might want to try. Rather than pour the splash of unwanted wine left at the bottom of a bottle, pour it into an ice-cube tray and you’ll have handy wine cubes for adding to a dish that includes a splash of wine.

One thought on “Freeze-by: Sainsbury’s chills over dates”

  1. I freeze pint cartons of milk, using the method described. I unfreeze by standing on the draining board for half a day or so, and then put in the firdge. As a last resort, when I’m in a hurry, I stand the carton in a jub of cold water.

    Like the wine recommendation. I shall try that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *