Food establishments produce a considerable amount of waste everyday making a proper food waste management system an essential part of any well-maintained kitchen. From food waste to packaging refuse, it is the manager’s responsibility to ensure all waste output is appropriately disposed of according to legal regulations.
The improper disposal of waste can have serious consequences for your business, leading to customer illness, attracting pests and consequently, a negative reputation.
A waste management system can decrease these risks and ensure it is consistently being disposed of in the correct manner. It is especially important to train your staff to follow your system, especially during busy shifts.
Owners looking to learn more about proper waste disposal procedures can consult with the local authorities or enrol on a level 3 food hygiene course, designed especially for senior food management staff. This blog will provide details on how to begin implementing a waste management system in your kitchen.
Start by minimising waste
Before thinking about the appropriate ways to dispose of food, managers implementing a waste management system should consider if they can reduce their waste output. Spend time to review your portion sizes for each dish, evaluating whether customers are eating all of it and potentially reducing portions.
One other way to help reduce food waste coming back to the kitchen is by having a system in place for customers to take leftovers home. This doesn’t have to be complicated, just have boxes or containers on hand so staff can easily package any leftovers. Finally, it is important to make sure you are not overstocking as this can lead to throwing away food items just because they are past their use-by date. Make sure you are only purchasing the necessary ingredients you know you need.
Implement a waste disposal system
Once you have identified ways to reduce waste, it is time to implement effective ways to dispose of all food and packaging waste. It is vital that food and packaging waste does not re-enter the food preparation process; food waste is a prime source of bacterial growth, harming customer health if it comes into contact with fresh food, and no customer wants to find packaging rubbish in their meal.
The main way to dispose of food and packaging waste is in bins. You should have bins placed in the kitchen and appropriate bins outside large enough to hold all your waste output until they are collected. It can also be useful to separate waste into separate bins, having a separate disposal bin for food waste, cardboard, glass and plastic and any other waste products. This will help you manage your waste output and also benefits the environment.
The bins in the kitchen should be kept away from food preparation areas but also accessible so all waste from food preparation and dirty plates can be quickly and easily disposed of.
These bins should also be either open lid or pedal operated so staff do not have to touch the bin and dispose of any waste more efficiently. Ensure that bins are emptied when they are full to reduce the risk of contamination. It is good practice to empty the bins at the end of every shift and are regularly cleaned to get rid of any bacteria living on the bin.
Bins outside should be large enough to handle the volume of waste output produced by your food establishment for the period of time between collections. If your bin collections take place every week, they should have the capacity to handle all the waste you produce in a week. All waste should be stored outside for long periods of time to prevent contamination in the kitchen, but make sure all your outside bins have a sealed lid in order to deter unwanted pests.