Level 2 Health Foods and Special Diets

Producing the food we eat takes significant resources (land, energy and water to name a few), the costs of which are all reflected in the price we pay, even wholesale.  Yet statistics suggest that almost one third of the total food produced globally is lost or wasted – or the equivalent of 15 billion meals per year just in the UK. (According to WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action programme, if food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third largest emitter after China and the USA).

Apart from the environment costs, reducing the food waste we generate can have a positive impact on the financial health of our businesses.  It’s not always easy in the busy, pressured environments that are typical of catering and hospitality but here are some points to reflect on to check that your business is doing all it can.

Label clearly

Most food waste in catering can be attributed to the expiration of ingredients. Therefore, clearly labelling items with what they are, how they should be stored and with their use-by dates can be a big help.  It can be helpful to label shelves, too, so all staff know where to find things (so they will use up what is already open before starting a new one). However often you remind your staff to use the items closest to expiry first, if those dates are really obvious, they are harder to miss.

It might also be worth reminding your staff that there is a difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates.  The ‘use by’ relates directly to food safety whereas the ‘best before’ is an indication of when the product’s quality is better.  If you want a refresher on these, The Food Standards Agency advice is here:

https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/best-before-and-use-by-dates

Find WRAP’s labelling guidance here:

https://wrap.org.uk/resources/guide/surplus-food-redistribution-labelling-guidance

Now is probably a good moment to remind you to regularly monitor the temperatures of your fridges and freezers.  Items will keep more safely at the correct temperatures.

Manage your stock

Once items are clearly labelled, you are in a better position to keep track of your stock, and to have a surplus stock strategy if you need one.  Whether you use technology, like an inventory management system, or simply employ a ‘first in, first out’ practice in your kitchen, make sure all your staff know how it works.  Simple things like putting new items on the shelf behind older items can make a big difference.

Measure your usage

Monitoring how much you buy and how much you use are key pieces of information in reducing food waste.  If you have an inventory management system it may well do that for you but something as simple as a log book can record the same information. Review your records regularly to see if there are any items which are ordered more often than seems appropriate.

If you want some help doing this, WRAP have produced this handy Food Waste Reduction toolkit:

https://wrap.org.uk/resources/tool/food-waste-reduction-roadmap-toolkit

Review your menus

Regularly reviewing your menu will do a number of things; it is the opportunity to review:

– which meals generate more waste than others – can you change that?

– which meals are more popular at different times of year, so you can better plan for them.  We all know that the seasonality of different food items can influence their price.

– if your portion control/standardised recipes are working effectively (and perhaps test different portion sizes with your customers so you’re not over-loading their plates).

– if there is an opportunity to use up surplus stock with special dishes.

Donate

Many hospitality venues also choose to donate leftover food to local food banks, charities or shelters.  Food insecurity is a very topical issue so anything any of us can do to help is very welcome.  The updated “Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice Catering Guide” (which we referred to in our last article https://www.ghtrainingsolutions.co.uk/guide-to-good-hygiene-practice/) specifically states that

Redistributing food that cannot be commercially used to those who can use it is good for the environment as well as your local community.  There are no different or additional legal requirements specifically for food donations.” (page 51)

And finally…

And, we would say this wouldn’t we, but staff training has got to be the linchpin of any food waste reduction plan.  If all your staff understand why you’re doing it (for the planet, not just the cost) and know how to do it safely, the vast majority will be only too happy to do their bit.

Signing up for WRAP’s ‘Guardians of Grub’ initiative would be a great way to signal to both your staff and your customers that you’re committed to reducing food waste https://wrap.org.uk/taking-action/food-drink/initiatives/guardians-grub

What Our Customers Say About Us

FB-AVAK have used GH Training Solutions several times in the past year, and have always found the courses to be interesting and informative. Ghislaine has a way of making courses fun, even when the subject matter (Health & Safety) can occasionally be a bit dry.

I would highly recommend GH Training Solutions for any business looking for staff training.

Phillip Harben

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2018-07-02T15:01:47+01:00

Phillip Harben

FB-AVAK have used GH Training Solutions several times in the past year, and have always found the courses to be interesting and informative. Ghislaine has a way of making courses fun, even when the subject matter (Health & Safety) can occasionally be a bit dry.
Your passion for the subject and knowledge you imparted to my team will no doubt make a huge difference as they go about passing this on to our franchisees and their team members in our stores. My team spoke very highly of their time with you and I can see the confidence boost your course has given them in this critical area of expertise

Laura Carter

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2018-07-02T14:55:54+01:00

Laura Carter

Your passion for the subject and knowledge you imparted to my team will no doubt make a huge difference as they go about passing this on to our franchisees and their team members in our stores. My team spoke very highly of their time with you and I can see the confidence boost your course has given them in this critical area of expertise
At Southern Co-op, we have worked with Ghislaine (GH Training Solutions) for several years and have continued to be impressed by her professionalism. Ghislaine communicates well, from the initial joining instructions right through to the course results, which have always been excellent. Our colleagues talk favourably about Ghislaine's teaching methods and how much they enjoy her courses which take place in a pleasant, relaxed environment.

Linda Masterman
Academy Training Manager
Southern Coop

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2019-04-01T18:05:56+01:00

Linda Masterman
Academy Training Manager
Southern Coop

At Southern Co-op, we have worked with Ghislaine (GH Training Solutions) for several years and have continued to be impressed by her professionalism. Ghislaine communicates well, from the initial joining instructions right through to the course results, which have always been excellent. Our colleagues talk favourably about Ghislaine's teaching methods and how much they enjoy her courses which take place in a pleasant, relaxed environment.
We use GH Training Solutions for our food safety training whether it be level 2 food safety right up to level 4, the training is informative yet enjoyable. The flexibility shown by Ghislaine also helps, as the environment we work in can change on the flip of a coin.

I would happily recommend GH training solutions to anybody.

 

Callum Lane - Medirest

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2024-07-17T11:33:50+01:00

Callum Lane - Medirest

We use GH Training Solutions for our food safety training whether it be level 2 food safety right up to level 4, the training is informative yet enjoyable. The flexibility shown by Ghislaine also helps, as the environment we work in can change on the flip of a coin. I would happily recommend GH training solutions to anybody.
As an experienced trainer myself, I recognise and recommend the quality of Ghislaine's training and style of delivery, particularly the way she met the individual needs of everyone on the course and made sure that we were fully engaged and able to share our own knowledge in a supportive and positive environment.

Rod Carver - Level 3 Food Safety Attendee

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2019-02-01T12:23:29+00:00

Rod Carver - Level 3 Food Safety Attendee

As an experienced trainer myself, I recognise and recommend the quality of Ghislaine's training and style of delivery, particularly the way she met the individual needs of everyone on the course and made sure that we were fully engaged and able to share our own knowledge in a supportive and positive environment.
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