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Cost of living: One in five eating food beyond use-by date

A similar number have eaten smaller portions owing to rising prices, with more struggling to stay warm.

Source link One in five people are reportedly having to eat food beyond its use-by date in order to save money as the cost of living continues to rise.

Research is showing that more people are taking a gamble on their eating habits by consuming food that is past its expiry date due to increasing costs of food. The rising costs of groceries and other household goods, combined with government cuts to welfare and benefits payments, have contributed to people increasingly feeling the pressure of their financial situation.

The findings come from a survey of 2,000 people released by the Food Standards Agency this week. The survey shows that 20 per cent of respondents said they had eaten food beyond its best-before or use-by date, with a third of those citing financial constraints as the cause.

When questioned why they choose to ignore best-before and use-by dates, 10 per cent of respondents said that the food appeared to be safe to eat and that there was nothing wrong with it, while 6 per cent simply said they could not afford to buy more.

The study revealed that 4 per cent of people who had consumed food that was past its best before or use-by date experienced food poisoning, with a further 2 per cent suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting as a result.

Dr. Richard Ashwort, speaking on behalf of the Food Standards Agency, said in a statement, “As the cost of living soars, it is no surprise that people are having to stretch their grocery budgets by eating food beyond its best before or use-by date. It should go without saying that the longer food is kept past its expiry date, the higher the risk that it poses. We would strongly advise people to err on the side of caution and to avoid taking unnecessary risks by consuming food that is past its use-by date.”

The survey is a stark reflection of how rising costs of groceries and other household goods are making it increasingly difficult for people to make ends meet. We should all be aware of the potential risks that food can pose if it is kept beyond its best use-by or best-before date.

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