Every business across the UK produces food waste which commonly goes to landfill or for incineration. Food waste continues to be a growing economic concern as a large proportion of food intended for human consumption ends up being wasted.
Cutting down your food waste can greatly enhance your environmental credibility by reducing the need for general waste services and there are many ways businesses can reduce the amount of food waste they produce.
These five simple tips can help your business reduce food waste:
1. Set Targets
Educate your staff on food waste processes and set reduction targets. Reduction targets will encourage workers to reach lower levels of waste. Encourage your staff to be more vigilant and proactive in looking for ways to reduce food waste to ultimately hit targets as a team.
2. Store food correctly
Use the correct packaging and wrapping where needed which will help prevent cross-contamination. Hot items should always be cooled properly before being refrigerated, this will prevent the growth of bacteria and maintain the internal temperature of the fridge for other items. Storing items correctly will minimise waste by ensuring that food remains fit for consumption for longer.
3. Be organised
Organisation is key, so make sure that all food items are organised and labelled to prevent food spoilage. Use clear labelling with the date it arrived and when it must be used by. Use a first-in, first-out method of storage and ensure that everything has a label identifying the use-by date. Make sure older stock items are at the front so that they are used first, again to minimise food waste. This will also help to increase energy efficiency, as refrigeration space is being optimised.
4. Train the team
Make sure that your team has all the training they need, ensuring they are fully educated on best methods and practices for food safety, preparation and storage to protect customers and avoid food spoilage. Good food safety practises go hand in hand with the reduction of food waste.
5. Keep on track
Make sure you track food waste on a regular basis so that you can stay on target. You can also make your team accountable by keeping a daily waste sheet in kitchen areas and ask staff to record any wasted items. This information can then be used to identify food that is being wasted and allow you to look at alternatives, or create opportunities to make improvements.
How can Veolia help?
For most businesses, food waste is inevitable; but by segregating food waste in the most effective way, we can increase your recycling rates, reduce CO2 emissions and help you move towards zero waste to landfill.
First, we’ll perform a waste audit to assess your needs and the space you have available at your premises. That way we can implement the best waste management solution for you and determine how frequently you’ll need your food waste collected. We can turn your food waste into a valuable resource, by using anaerobic digestion to create green energy.
Food waste has been a hot topic lately, with widespread reporting of hospitality venues having to throw out large volumes of food due to changing Covid restrictions, and increasing scrutiny of how retailers dispose of food waste.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, almost every business has had to change the way they operate, whether that's reducing the number of people in the workplace, implementing new processes due to social distancing or even having to shut completely.