Tips for Reducing Wasted Food
We often do not realize how much food we waste at our businesses. Check out our list of common strategies to figure out where wasted food happens at your business and how to avoid it.
This list identifies common strategies any business can use to reduce wasted food. Choose strategies based on the opportunities that exist at your facility. Tracking wasted food is always the first step.
- Conduct a wasted food assessment using the U.S.EPA’s Food and Packaging Waste Prevention Tool or other tracking tool such as LeanPath’s automated Food Waste Prevention Systems
- Adjust food purchasing policies to reduce excess food purchasing
- Use just-in-time purchasing software to reduce unnecessary purchasing
- Adjust menus to reduce frequently uneaten or wasted items
- Train staff to reduce prep waste and improper cooking (refine knife skills for more efficient food preparation)
- Modify food prep methods to minimize waste (heat soups or prepare food in smaller portions)
- Store food properly to reduce spoilage
- Implement trayless system
- Reduce serving utensil size
- Repurpose leftover kitchen food following food safety guidelines (reuse day-old bread for croutons or leftover vegetables as a pizza topping)
- Identify grab-and-go items not regularly purchased and reduce quantity of items prepared
- Donate excess food
- Compost food scraps and food soiled paper
- EPA's Food and Packaging Waste Prevention Tool is a macro enabled Excel spreadsheet that provides a framework for restaurants and other food venues to measure their waste food.
- EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge website offers extensive information and resources for reducing wasted food.
- Compost Your Food Scraps: Learn about food scrap recycling services in your city.
EPA's Toolkit for Reducing Wasted Food and Packaging: A guide for Food Services and Restaurants. Provides an overview of wasted food and packaging, a food recovery hierarchy, and a tutorial for EPA's Tool to Track Wasted Food and Packaging.