Why we throw away our food and what can we do to reduce food waste

Warzywa i owoce w torbie wielorazowego użytku

Why we throw away our food and what can we do to reduce food waste

Aug 12, 2021

According to the portal "Poradnik Handlowca", about 80 million tons of food are wasted throughout the European Union each year. It is estimated that 10% of this amount ends up in the bin due to unclear shelf life markings. The notations that manufacturers put on the packaging ("eat by ..." and "best before ...") are confusing for consumers, which means that we prefer to throw the product away rather than risk poisoning. So what to do to reduce food waste?


Why are we wasting food?


European Union specialists assume that consumers do not understand the difference between the 2 forms of 'use by' date that are used on food products. It is worth knowing that:

  1. "must be consumed by ..." is a notation that states that after the indicated date, the product may be harmful to our health. In this case, the product should not be eaten after the date written on the packaging has passed;
  2. "best before ..." sounds similar, but it means the minimum use-by date. The manufacturer declares that the product will retain the highest quality until that day. Moreover, after that date, the food is still safe for the consumer. Such a record is used, for example, on pasta and rice. 

In Poland, consumers are responsible for 60% of food thrown away. That is a lot.


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How do stores waste food?


Shops and food businesses waste far less food than consumers, which doesn't mean they don't do it at all. The main role in reducing waste is played by proper planning of production and orders, maintaining the continuity of the cold chain or the use of appropriate storage methods and the release of products from the warehouse to the exhibition area. To this, we can add the knowledge of the customer and his needs, so as not to unnecessarily store goods that consumers will not want to buy.


The European Union meets the expectations of enterprises by issuing appropriate regulations. For example, from March 24, 2021, food businesses can donate certain foods for social purposes. Of course, food must be safe and fit for consumption.


Some European countries allow food to be sold after its best before date at a lower price. All this to reduce waste.

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How can you reduce food waste? 


The logical answer to this question seems to be: buy less. However, it is not always profitable. On the other hand, individual groups of food products are subject to seasonality. That is why it is worth investing in good refrigeration equipment.


Refrigerated counters have the advantage that the customer can buy exactly as much meat, cold cuts or cheese as he needs. The possibility of packing products into a reusable container brought by the customer is becoming more and more popular. By giving this option, you help your customers reduce the amount of waste produced.


It is worth investing in a modern counter, equipped with a cooling system that does not dry the products. Adequate humidity and temperature will help you take care of food, preserve all its taste and aroma.


Control the expiry dates and carefully check the conditions under which the manufacturers recommend storing the products. In this way, you will not only reduce the throwing away of unsold goods, but also more easily plan the next deliveries and find out about the habits and expectations of your customers.


Take care of devices that help you store and display food. Regularly clean the condenser and service refrigeration equipment. A serious malfunction may mean that cooling must be turned off for several hours. Such a failure may mean the need to throw away a significant amount of goods.


What are you doing to reduce food waste?


Whether you are a retailer or a consumer, you can help to reduce the amount of food that ends up in the trash. If you are interested in changing the devices to those that will help you take care of the products, please contact our Customer Service Department.



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