How a restaurant or grocery store disposes of its waste can truly impact the safety of the facility and the health of the people who work and visit there. It is imperative that stores effectively manage their waste production and removal in order to keep the space clean and safe for employees and consumers alike.
Here are several ways to efficiently reduce waste, keeping food service and retail establishments as sanitary as possible.
The cycle begins with product acquisition and proper ordering. It is important for restaurants and grocery stores to have an accurate gauge of how much product they should be ordering, with the goal being to have nothing left over as waste once food has been bought or consumed. Over-ordering can result in financial pressure to serve food that may be past its expiration date, but still “consumable” to some. This is a dangerous trap for a grocery store or restaurant to fall into, as outdated food can cause health and safety issues.
In order to steer clear of this, make sure the food distributor fully understands the trends in consumption: Do fewer people purchase a certain vegetable on certain days? Is there a season where a particular fruit is extra popular, like watermelon in the summer? All of these nuances should be part of the conversation. If something is quick to go bad, which can create waste or other hazards, order conservatively. If there are other uses for a certain food, feel free to purchase a bit more generously, knowing that it will all be put to use before it expires.
Next, and equally as important, is how this food is stored. Of course, not everything that is purchased will be used or bought by consumers immediately, so store all products carefully. Below are some basic tips from FDA to prevent foodborne illnesses.