Care Home Management

The Care Home Decision Makers’ Magazine

Insight & Analysis

Waste not, want not

Reduce food waste, manage food budgets and achieve food cost savings through simple management, says Hayden Hibbert, director of client relations at allmanhall

According to WRAP, 4.7 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away each year by UK households.

Globally, around a third of the food produced is lost or wasted.

One of the UN Sustainable Development goals is to halve global food waste by 2030. Achieving this target would add 20 per cent to the world’s total food supply, contributing to the challenge of feeding a growing global population in a sustainable manner. Reducing waste also helps the food supply chain to become more sustainable and economically efficient.

Some simple tips include:  

Avoid overbuying stock

– supply chain uncertainties create the temptation to stock up, just in case, but it can create waste, particularly of perishable products. Only purchase what you need.

Store food correctly

– are you confident that all food is being stored at the correct temperature? Are fridges and freezers operating at the correct temperatures? Rotate stock appropriately, especially your perishable items.

Label food correctly

– if food is decanted into different containers for storage then make sure they are clearly labelled with allergens, date information and a product description, to avoid food being thrown away because you don’t know what’s in the container, or how old the food is.

Keep a stock inventory

– keep detailed lists of the items in your food stores, including their use by or best before dates.
This list should easily accessible so you can refer to it as needed.

Ensure deliveries match orders

– only accept exactly what you ordered, and demand that product is well within its use by date and of good quality.

Portion control

– It is estimated that over a quarter of customers leave food on their plate at the end of their meal. Always tailor portion size to residents’ needs.

Don’t overextend your menu

– keep it simple! The bigger and more extensive your menu the more stock you need to hold.
This heightens the risk of unnecessary waste.

The packaging puzzle

– Packaging keeps food safe and helps prevent wastage.
It also facilitates efficient communication throughout the supply chain. The trade-off is having enough packaging to prevent damage and wastage, but not so much that it creates a wasteful carbon footprint.

For more information:

WRAP - The Climate Crisis: Act Now [online] at: Waste food recipe ideas [online] at: Allmanhall blogs: Reducing food waste in catering environments [online] at: Food waste action week: why reducing food waste matters [online] at:


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