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6 ways to reduce food waste in hospitality business

Sunday, July 21, 2019

We are all increasingly aware of the challenge to feed a rising world population.

But did you know that one third of the food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted every year, equivalent to about 1,300 million tons a year1?

The environmental cost of this is big and includes the water used in crops, fertilizers and fuels used in production and transport, not forgetting the greenhouse gases emitted when that food decomposes in landfills. And that’s without taking into account the money we spend on food that we never consume! So here are some tips to help reduce the waste of food in your catering business to the maximum:

  • Plan your purchases: Plan in advance the menus and dishes of the week, taking into consideration all the ingredients you will need and buying only the ones you are going to use.
  • Prepare an inventory on perishable products, sort them by their expiration date and apply the "first in, first out" rule.
  • Store the food in a suitable place: Keeping food at the right temperature can increase its shelf life. There are a number of websites including Heart.org which give you more information as to where to store fruits and vegetables so that they last longer. And once you have separated the foods that  are stored in the refrigerator, do some online research around where in the refrigerator it is best to put them. This will also serve to extend the expiration of your fresh products.
  • Portion control: By controlling the amount of food on the plate, you not only limit the number of calories but also the amount of food that will end up in the trash.
  • Donate what you do not eat: If you realize that you still have too much food, give it to a neighbor, a relative or a food bank.
  • To help reduce food waste, write down what you throw away each week. You will be surprised to see how much it is and you will be able to detect excessive buying patterns.

By doing all this you will end up saving money and contribute positively in fight against food waste.

Source: 1This figure comes from a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.