Food Date Labelling and the Consumer Knowledge

  • Anida Mahmood Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Siti Sarah Sulaiman Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Nor Akhmal Hasmin Universiti Teknologi MARA

Abstract

The safety and quality aspects of food produced and sold to Malaysian consumers are governed by myriad legislation. At the forefront are Food Act 1983 and Food Regulations 1985. The regulations fortify food safety and quality assurance by mandating food date labelling. Food date labelling, part of consumer empowerment strategies, enables buyers to decide whether to purchase or when to consume the purchased food. While food date labelling is lauded as a proven legal strategy to overcome information asymmetry, international literature identifies food date labelling as the leading cause of edible food waste. Lack of knowledge, misunderstanding and confusion on the meanings of 'expired by', 'use by', 'consume by' and 'best before' labels on food packaging has prompted consumers to dispose of food that is still edible and fit for consumption. Malaysia is not spared from the global food waste phenomenon as it was reported that 3,000 tonnes of edible food, enough to feed 10 million people, are discarded each day either at the point of sale or point of consumption. This paper aims to investigate consumer knowledge of food date labelling in Malaysia. An online nationwide survey using a convenience sampling technique was conducted in April 2021. A survey questionnaire that gauges consumer knowledge of food date labelling was constructed for the study. A total of 460 respondents representing B40, M40 and T20 households participated in the survey. The survey findings indicate that Malaysian consumers’ low knowledge of the meaning of the date formats marked on food packaging may lead to edible food waste.

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Published
2023-01-31
How to Cite
MAHMOOD, Anida; SULAIMAN, Siti Sarah; HASMIN, Nor Akhmal. Food Date Labelling and the Consumer Knowledge. Jurnal Intelek, [S.l.], v. 18, n. 1, p. 81-91, jan. 2023. ISSN 2231-7716. Available at: <https://myjms.mohe.gov.my/index.php/intelek/article/view/20318>. Date accessed: 24 june 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.24191/ji.v18i1.20318.