Avoiding Food Wastage in the Food Logistics Industry
There is much wastage in the hospitality industry from when a meal is fresh produce to the point where parts of your meal go uneaten. While we can only do so much in preventing leftovers, there are a few things we can do as part of the supply chain. In this post, we share some ideas on avoiding food wastage in the food logistics part of the supply chain.
These dates on packaged food tell us when you can eat the product. After this date, it may not be safe. The use-by date is usually found on perishable foods including chilled meats, dairy, and ready-made meals. As transporters, we feel it’s best to help educate consumers to avoid wasting food by purchasing just what you need, don’t stock up on things you know you can’t consume in time. Do not bulk buy food unless you will use all of it before it spoils. For hospitality businesses, we suggest you adopt the “First In, First Out” mentality towards stock – use older food first (as long as it’s still viable) as fresher food lasts longer.
Automated Food Quality Supervision Systems
One of the more recent technological advancements that can be used, these type of systems still requires the human touch. Sensor systems, communication science, predictive biology and food technology all have to cooperate with transport operators and managers of supply chains. This begins with an overview of how the relationship between food quality losses and transport conditions. Losses can be avoided by more effective pre-cooling management, shelf life modeling, accurate mapping & estimation of product temperatures and stock rotation. So, in this point, we see that better quality monitoring, biological modeling of the shelf life and adjustments are needed. Quite simply, check existing stock in storage and the fridge before ordering.
Technologies such as time-temperature indicators, gas indicators, and biosensors are instrumental in reducing food waste across the supply chain. Gas indicators, for example, monitor the change of atmosphere within packaging typically signaling the presence or absence of oxygen or carbon dioxide.
Make use of shelf life info for supply chain planning
Information about shelf life losses based on monitored environmental data, such as temperature, should be used to adjust transport and chain processes, as long as it is still possible to take action before the food quality drops below an acceptance threshold. Items in a critical state can be assigned to shorter transport routes to prevent losses and to provide consistent quality to customers.
Feed hungry people
Space is a premium in smaller hospitality businesses, and considerations on food waste management require greater attention and creative solutions. One of which is to donate extra food to food banks, soup kitchens, and shelters. Around 1.9 million Australians go without food because they cannot afford it. Donate your still-consumable food to organisations in need.
Feed the animals
Some food waste is unavoidable, such as trimmings and peels, and it’s best to keep that material out of landfills, where it creates methane gas, an extremely potent greenhouse gas. So the food industry should be definitely interested in ways to recycle unavoidable food waste. Divert food scraps to animal feed.
In Australia, the amount of greenhouse gases produced from household food waste going to landfill annually is 5.25 Mt CO2-e – equivalent to the emissions produced by the steel and iron manufacturing industries. Australia is ranked 15th in the world for greenhouse gas emissions from food waste, yet is ranked 52nd in the world in population size. One way we can look at the environmental considerations to reducing food waste is to create a nutrient-rich soil amendment.
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