You’ve decided to shop with us but noticed a product you’re interested in is close to or past it’s best before date? 🤔

No need to worry! Our main goal as a business is to help prevent food waste which means we tend to sell products that are often close to/past their best before date.

These products are still completely safe to consume, (and as most of the team here at food circle can confirm, very tasty too! 😋). This is what makes surplus food so brilliant! We can sell these amazing, tasty products for a fraction of the retail price AND prevent them from going to waste!

The "best before" date indicates the manufacturer's estimation of when the product is at its peak quality in terms of taste, texture, and aroma. It is not a safety date but rather a recommendation for the best quality experience.

Sometimes there is a bit of confusion between Use By and Best Before Dates but it’s important to point out that if we had any products past their Use By, they would not be on sale to purchase simply because smelling or looking at the food is not enough to be sure it is safe to consume. "Use-by" dates are typically found on perishable products, such as fresh meat or dairy, and indicate the date by which the product should be consumed to guarantee safety.


If you would like a bit more information on this, here are a few helpful links that explain this:,-A%20use%2Dby&text=You%20can%20eat%20food%20until,ready%2Dto%2Deat%20salads


Here are a few reasons why products can still be perfectly safe to consume after their best before date has passed:

Preservation methods

Ambient products are often processed and packaged using methods that help extend their shelf life.

These methods can include canning, vacuum sealing, pasteurization, or adding preservatives.

These techniques help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, yeast, or mould, making the products safe to consume even after the best before date.

Quality degradation

While the quality of ambient products may deteriorate over time, it does not necessarily render them unsafe to eat. Beyond the best before date, these products may experience changes in taste, texture, colour, or nutritional value.

However, unless there are visible signs of spoilage such as bulging cans, strange odours, or mould growth, they are generally still safe to consume.

Sensory evaluation

Consumers can use their senses to determine the quality of ambient products. Before consuming them, you can examine the product for any visible signs of spoilage, such as changes in colour or texture. You can also smell the product to check for any off-putting or rancid odours. If the product appears normal and smells fine, a small taste can be taken to assess the flavour.

If everything seems normal, it is likely safe to eat. However, it is important to note that the best before date should not be confused with the "use-by" or "expiration" date.


In summary, while ambient products may experience a decline in quality beyond their best before date, they can still be safe to eat as long as there are no signs of spoilage. Trust your senses and use your judgment when evaluating the condition of the product before consuming it.  👍


As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact us via email at