Peer Insists 20-Year-Old Biscuit 'Perfectly Edible' in Critique of Sell-By Dates

A peer in the House of Lords told the chamber he ate a 20-year-old biscuit and lived to tell the tale, arguing that sell-by dates on food products are “far too cautious”.

Lord Palmer, a hereditary peer whose family founded the Huntley and Palmer’s biscuit company, made the remarks during a March 24 debate on how the government plans to tackle the issue of food waste.

“I’m sure one of the main problems is that the sell-by dates on products are far, far too cautious. I remember once eating a biscuit which was 20 years old and it was perfectly edible,” Palmer said.

In response, Zac Goldsmith, minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that he had considerable sympathy for his colleague’s point.

“I don’t think I’ve eaten a biscuit quite that old but I wouldn’t be afraid of doing so,” Goldsmith said. Credit: Houses of Parliament via Storyful