Crisis-hit Italians survive on out of date food

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Italians spent less on fruit and vegetables in 2013 than they did in 2000. Photo: Ornello_Pics/Flickr
10:27 CET+01:00
Italians may be well-known for their healthy diet, but more are eating food well past its use-by date as the effects of the financial crisis continue to bite, according to new figures from Coldiretti, the Italian farmers' association.

Fifty-nine percent of Italians, or six out of ten, eat out of date food, with fifteen percent eating food that is a month or more old, the association revealed.

Eight percent are eating food that is way beyond a month after its use-by date, while 34 percent are consuming products up to a week old and two percent never check expiry dates.

Coldiretti said the “worrying trend” poses a “significant risk to health”.

“It confirms the negatives effects of the crisis, which is forcing Italians to cut back on quality food and reduce spending on food essential to their diet as they turn to low-cost products that do not offer the same quality guarantee,” the association said.

Italians spent less on fruit and vegetables in 2013 than they did in 2000, Coldiretti added.

A report in November found that Italians are spending €2bn less on food a year.

READ MORE HERE: Italians slash spending on food

They are also wasting less food, according to a survey in January.

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READ MORE HERE: Crisis forces Italians to waste less food

Meanwhile, disposable incomes fell by as much as two percent across Italy in 2012, according to figures released on Monday by Istat, the national statistics agency.

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