Morrisons will remove “use-by” dates from milk packaging by the end of January in an attempt to prevent waste.
The retailer is advising customers to carry out a simple sniff test to work out whether or not the cow’s milk is off or still usable.
Milk is the third-most wasted food or drink product in the UK, with 85 million pints poured away due to consumers following the ‘use by’ date alone, according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) charity.
Ian Goode, senior milk buyer at Morrisons, said: ‘Wasted milk means wasted effort by our farmers and unnecessary carbon being released into the atmosphere.
“Good quality milk has a good few days life after normal ‘use by’ dates – and we think it should be consumed, not tipped down the sink.
“So, we’re taking a bold step today and asking customers to decide whether their milk is still good to drink.
‘Generations before us have always used the sniff test – and I believe we can too.’
Experts warn consumers not to drink milk with an obvious unpleasant odour.
In cases when it’s difficult to difficult to gauge by scent, the milk can be examined for lumps or slight yellowing.
Excessive souring can also be detected by either microwaving a glass full for 30-60 seconds or adding a splash to hot water, then swirling it and checking whether it goes lumpy or gooey.
According to Wrap, 490 million pints of milk are wasted every year while an estimated 85 million pints may be wasted due to customers following ‘use by’ labels.
Despite this, research shows that milk can still be used after the ‘use by’ date.
Marcus Gover, of Wrap, said: “I am delighted that Morrisons is the first UK supermarket to take this important step to help reduce household food waste – it shows real leadership and we look forward to more retailers reviewing date labels on their products and taking action.”