Govern­ment to list cases in which ex­pired food is al­lowed to be dis­trib­uted

Baltic News Network - - News -

On Thurs­day, 25 Oc­to­ber, mem­bers of Lat­vian Saeima ap­proved amend­ments to the Law on the Su­per­vi­sion of the Han­dling of Food in the third read­ing. Ap­proved amend­ments make it a duty for the Cabi­net of Min­is­ters to list cases in which food prod­ucts will be al­lowed to be dis­trib­uted af­ter the end of their ex­piry term, as re­ported by Saeima press-ser­vice.

Un­til now, the law stated that food that is past its ex­piry date is to be con­sid­ered in­valid for dis­tri­bu­tion. This ap­plies to food with «Use be­fore…» la­bel and food with a «Best be­fore…» la­bel. The ap­proved law del­e­gates to the govern­ment the duty to list prod­uct groups, their dis­tri­bu­tion and the or­der un­der which food prod­ucts are al­lowed to be dis­trib­uted af­ter pass­ing the rec­om­mended ex­piry date. Reg­u­la­tions will come to force 1 July 2019.

EU reg­u­la­tions do not state that food that is past its min­i­mal ex­piry pe­riod is con­sid­ered in­valid for dis­tri­bu­tion and con­sump­tion. With that, to re­duce food waste, it is nec­es­sary to es­tab­lish the pe­riod of time within which it would be al­lowed to dis­trib­ute al­most food prod­ucts by do­nat­ing them to char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions, for ex­am­ple, as men­tioned in the an­no­ta­tion to the leg­isla­tive draft. Saeima notes that changes were added based on EU guide­lines for food prod­uct do­na­tions, which state that food waste has a ma­jor eco­nomic and so­cial im­pact. Ad­di­tion­ally, it cre­ates ex­ces­sive pressure on fi­nite nat­u­ral re­sources and the environmen­t. Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion from UN Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion, ap­prox­i­mately one-third of the food pro­duced in the world is lost or wasted.

Ieva Lūka/LETA

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