The Food Standards Agency has revealed that cases of listeria poisoning in the UK are rising because of poor attitude displayed by consumers towards "use by" labels.
The theory is that the philosophy, which took root after the Second World War, is still prevalent and many consumers, mostly seniors, do not throw away what they perceive to be good food even if it has passed the "expiry" date.
The watchdog cites data which shows that 162 deaths out of a total of 455 cases were reported in 2007 ad compared to 68 deaths out of 194 cases in 2000. In a survey of 3,219 adults, the agency found that over 60% of seniors were not aware that "use by" labels were important to determine food safety.
The survey also found that 40% of seniors were happy to consume dairy products and other chilled, ready-to-eat foods for up to three days after the use-by date.