According to a recent survey, most Canadians are not ready to scrap "best before" dates on food products.
In recent months, several grocers in Europe have opted to eliminate "best before" dates with the intention to reduce food waste.
The survey, which was conducted by the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, in partnership with Angus Reid, showed that only 27% of Canadians either strongly support or support eliminating "best before" dates.
"Animal proteins appear to be an issue a lot of people appreciate "best before" dates and the dairy section of the grocery store and also at the meat counter, so those are areas where really people are not only buying food but they're buying time and I think a lot of Canadians actually recognize that "best before" dates are also a barometer for them to have access to rebates," said Sylvain Charlebois, Director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.
Charlebois notes consumers have different ways to manage risks and will do different things to determine whether a product is safe to eat or not.
"A lot of people actually will rely on senses like smell and aesthetics as well. The thing about food safety is that not all pathogens will have an odour or can be actually seen...It really depends who you are. In England, what appears to be happening is that grocers are asking consumers to really become strong risk managers essentially by trusting their senses."
According to the Global Food Security Index, Canada is the 7th most food secure country in the world. When it comes to food safety, Canada is 1st in the world, followed by the United States and Ireland. The focus on food safety in Canada has been historically higher in comparison to other countries.