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Irish households 'waste €700 a year' throwing out rotten food

SafeFood says the average home could save quite a bit of money by adopting a “eat it or freeze it” model.

Image: Shutterlist via Shutterstock

THE AVERAGE IRISH household wastes around €700 a year by buying food and then not consuming or freezing it before it goes off, a new campaign has claimed.

The cross-border food safety body SafeFood says small changes in how households manage their food supplies could help them save huge amounts of money over the course of an average year.

The claim comes as part of its ‘Eat or freeze it’ campaign, which is encouraging households to keep diaries of the food that they throw out on a weekly basis.

The campaign says deciding to freeze food is a delicate area – and has stressed that food should always be frozen in advance of going off, and not when it has already started to do so.

SafeFood has offered six steps for shoppers to take to ensure they get the most value from their weekly grocery shop:

  • Check your fridge, freezer and cupboards before you head out, and try to plan your meals around what you find
  • Make a shopping list and try to stick to it
  • Watch out for ‘special deals’ – for some products, like fruit, they often mean buying more food than you can actually eat before they go off
  • When shopping, check the products at the back of a shelf – they may have ‘use by’ dates further in the future
  • Shop for what you actually eat, not for what you want/wish you could eat
  • Eat or freeze all food before it reaches its ‘use by’ date

SafeFood’s website has a blank food diary which shoppers can download to keep tabs of the food that they have to dispose of each week.

Read: Ireland to give €21 million to World Food Programme

More: Indian malnutrition fund used to fix buses

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Gavan Reilly

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