Freezing out food waste
For the last few months we've been trialling the collection of frozen food from the Co-op at Bicton Heath. They freeze meat, fish, milk, cheese and ready meals for us on its use-by date so that we can get it to our groups. This is a great way to avoid food waste in store and at home.
Staff at the store freeze food that they haven't been able to sell, despite discounting it, as part of their end of day routine. If it wasn't frozen it would have to be wasted. With advice from our local Environmental Health Officer, we have agreed procedures to get this frozen food into good use. Freezing keeps the food safe until our group are ready to use it. It has to be defrosted in the fridge and then used within 24 hours of defrosting.
We'd like to say a big thank you to the team at Bicton Heath for helping us get the system set up. There's a lot more recording and checking to make sure the food stays safe and to demonstrate that we've met food safety requirements. We'd also like to say a big thank you to Veolia for getting us the chill boxes which are vital to us being able to collect and deliver frozen food safely.
The trial has been a real success and Shrewsbury Ark, TMBSS and Riversway Elim Church have been the first groups to get this valuable food. And a big thank you to Veolia for getting us the chill boxes which are key to us being able to collect and deliver frozen food safely.
Now we've worked out how to do this , we'll be slowly building the system and seeing if more stores would like to donate frozen food. We are looking for new volunteers to help these collections, currently during the mornings on Mondays and Thursdays.
Did you know that you can freeze food on its use-by date safely at home? You can! You just need to defrost it in the fridge and use it within 24 hours of defrosting. 50% of food waste happens in our cupboards and fridges at home, so freezing something we can't use in time is a great idea.