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Answer in writing Members of the public are increasingly asking questions about the quality of food, particularly with reference to the controversial issue of expiry dates for products, even though they may not yet have clear ideas about the foods foods dating dating. European law concerning the matter differentiates between two types of expiry date. Who decides which of the two options should apply?
This is a task for the producer companies, which, after assessing a product's characteristics, treatment and transport time, the climatic conditions and the number of residents in the place of sale, indicate the expiry date on the label according to the product.
However, it is not so very unusual to find products on the shelves whose expiry dates have been altered to a later date: it is increasingly common to see cheese products, tomato purée or frozen fish which have been treated in this way. Manufacturers do not fear that customers will be poisoned, because they know that eating such foods after their expiry date has elapsed is not much more dangerous than consuming poorly preserved products.
This increases the risk of mould developing. Despite this, there are so many variables at play that not everybody is convinced that the limits decided by companies will guarantee a good product. In the light of all this, does the Commission consider it right and conducive to public health to manipulate expiry dates on food, with the risk of harming health?
How could a stop be put to this practice?