Flintshire calls on residents to ‘freeze not throw away’ this Food Safety Week
Flintshire County Council is supporting this year’s Food Safety Week (4th-10th
July), which aims to help people better understand how to waste less food
safely, by making more use of their freezers.
New research from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed that 68% of UK
adults report that they have thrown food away in the past month.
Over two thirds (36%) of those who had thrown away food said they have
discarded food as it was past its use by date. Other top reasons for throwing
food away include buying too much and not eating it, which was reported by 30%
of people; and not having the chance to eat food before it went off, which
almost a quarter (23%) gave as an excuse for putting food in the bin.
This contributes to the seven million tonnes of food that is wasted in the UK
each year which, according to the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, costs each
household around £470 annually.
Flintshire is backing the FSA’s campaign to encourage its residents to help
tackle the problem of food waste by planning ahead and, if necessary, to
freeze food within its use by date if there is a chance you may end up
throwing it away once the use-by date expires.
Kevin Hargin, head of Foodborne Disease Control at the FSA said:
“Every year, we throw away seven million tonnes of food and drink from our
homes. Much of this waste is unnecessary, and a better understanding of how to
freeze food safely could go a significant way towards tackling the problem.
“Our research shows that many of the fears the public has about freezing food
are unfounded and we need to ensure they know the facts. 31% of the people we
spoke to said that more information about how to safely freeze food would help
them to reduce their food waste – that’s why freezing is the focus of this
year’s Food Safety Week.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Waste Strategy, Public
Protection and Leisure, Kevin Jones, said:
“Lots of people believe food can only be frozen on the day of purchase, but the
freezer is like a pause button and you can safely freeze most foods right up to
the use by date. You can even cook defrosted meat into a new meal and freeze it
to eat on another day. With so much food being thrown away in the UK each year,
we want Flintshire residents to think about how they can use their freezers to
their full potential, rather than putting food in the bin.”
“While food is kept safe in the freezer, it’s the quality that deteriorates
over time, so the FSA recommends eating it within three to six months and
checking for any freezing instructions on the packaging. Once defrosted, the
pause button is off, so defrost food as and when you need it and eat it within
24 hours of it being fully defrosted.”
For more information on freezing food safely, visit www.food.gov.uk/useby or
follow @foodgov #EatitCookitFreezeit on Twitter for tips and advice throughout
Food Safety Week.