Half of Brits admit binning food in secret from partners as households waste up to £500 a year

Half of Brits are so ashamed at food going past its best that they hide it from their partners, according to a new study.

The average British household squanders up to £480 a year on fresh food that goes off quicker than anticipated. Salad, bread, and fruit are the most common culprits in our shopping baskets and often find themselves in the bin.

Research showed that three in five people (72 per cent) are left feeling guilty when food goes past its best, with nearly half (44 per cent) of those spoken to admitting they even hide sell-by dates and expired food from their partner.

Conscious of waste, a surprising 1 in 3 Brits (34 per cent) admit they will regularly turn down dates with friends because they're worried about their food going off at home.

This has sparked major FOGO (Fear Of Going Off), with more than half (59 per cent) of Brits admitting to worrying about their food going off every week, according to a new study by Ocado, which spoke to 2,000 adults. The online supermarket has a Fresh+ Promise that ensures customers' food is as fresh as it can be, offering a refund if customers aren't happy.

To reassure Brits about the shelf-life of their food and help combat FOGO, Ocado has teamed up with Instagram chef Alfie Steiner, @alfiecooks, who said, "Nothing compares to fresh produce. And it's not only about the great taste, it's knowing you can rest easy and enjoy planning how to cook with it, because your food isn't rapidly wilting away.

"FOGO is real, and according to Ocado's research, many of us experience it. I want to help people fight the fear, so they can experience all the joy of super fresh produce, without the worry that they're cooking against the clock."

Frustration over expiration dates is helping to fuel FOGO, with over half of Brits (64%) saying they are often disappointed with how long their fresh food lasts. What's more, over a third of Brits (36%) say they have to make return visits to the shops due to their produce going off quicker than expected, with the most common culprits being salad leaves (43%), bread (34%) and soft fruits (33%).

Laura Harricks at Ocado added, ''We know how frustrating it can be when food goes off before you were expecting; it can throw meal plans out the window and as this study reveals, social plans and money too! We want to help the nation fight against FOGO and, with the Ocado Fresh+ Promise, give people peace of mind, so they can spend a little less time worrying about the food in their fridge and more time enjoying it."

Ocado's Fresh+ Promise ensures customers' food is delivered straight to the door with no supermarket detour. That means food arrives as fresh as they'd expect, and then some. And that goes for fruit and veg, as much as bread and milk, helping plan ahead for next week's lunches. And as a promise is a promise, if customers still aren't 100% happy, they can sort a no-quibbles refund via the Ocado app.