Food wastage on plane | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Food wastage on plane

Status
Not open for further replies.

ermen

AFF Supporter
Joined
Oct 9, 2010
Messages
1,205
I think that it is a travesty that so much food is wasted on a plane due to
i) customers not finishing their meal or at least items on their meal
ii) extras loaded to cater for choice

In my estimate, probably 30% of the total caloric value of food is wasted?

Surely there is a cost saving to be hard here... how can airlines* cut food costs and yet offer choice?

*Actually, I read somewhere that supermarkets are the worst offenders...
 

cirqueboy

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2010
Messages
182
Flights
My Map
I pre order my food before flying and do eat what I order.

If I know I will not eat on board then I choose the maximize my sleep option.

Pretty easy really....
 

ermen

AFF Supporter
Joined
Oct 9, 2010
Messages
1,205
I pre order my food before flying and do eat what I order.

If I know I will not eat on board then I choose the maximize my sleep option.

Pretty easy really....
The airline still had to order / cater a meal for you even if you chose to sleep...
 

medhead

Suspended
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
18,994
Flights
My Map
The airline still had to order / cater a meal for you even if you chose to sleep...
I doubt they cater a meal for all passengers. I regularly take a 6am flight. There are a number if regular passengers who never take the breakfast and just take a water at most. If the airline knows what they are doing they would short cater accordingly on that flight.
 

Archphoto

AFF Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
1,296
Flights
My Map
*Actually, I read somewhere that supermarkets are the worst offenders...
I used to work retail at a hypermarket - yes throwing food out was huge!!! At one stage some was donated to Vinnies etc - "Best Before" doesn't mean it has died, and any bread/cakes/donuts etc left from the day was also donated.

Unfortunately, it was suddenly not ok to do so - if it couldn't be sold "in-store", it wasn't allowed to be given away either. Idiocy at the highest level IMHO, it really was very sad seeing it all being dumped into large waste bins, when the average household would keep a loaf for at least 3-4 days before it was all used up. :(
 

Sprucegoose

AFF Supporter
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
6,608
I think that it is a travesty that so much food is wasted on a plane due to
i) customers not finishing their meal or at least items on their meal
ii) extras loaded to cater for choice

In my estimate, probably 30% of the total caloric value of food is wasted?

Surely there is a cost saving to be hard here... how can airlines* cut food costs and yet offer choice?

*Actually, I read somewhere that supermarkets are the worst offenders...
The western world is the worst offender !!!!
 

Danger

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
6,052
As mentioned I think the problem lies with Australian food standard regulations. It's not uncommon for restaurants to not provide a doggy bag for fear of litigation if the food goes bad.

My guess is airlines would happily - and eagerly - donate perfectly fine meals to the needy if laws and regulations permitted it.

I'd be very interested to know if the contents of used trays are routinely dumped, or if there is some process where untouched items (like a packaged muffin or the tiny Tic Tac wrapper or even a banana) are thrown in the rubbish.
 

Boogs

Intern
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Messages
75
Flights
My Map
All 'waste' incl un eaten meals coming of an int flight is under quarantine regs so is disposed of (at great cost I might add) so no chance of being donated etc.

On Dom flights the food is all binned.

Drinks carts, are another matter!!!

The cost of labour to separate, store and distribute etc the un-used food would be huge. The biggest cost of catering is the labour.
 

get me outta here

AFF Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
5,895
Flights
My Map
I have seen some very interesting programs on 'dumpster divers', also illegal I guess now, who seemed to get a well rounded diet from foods still packaged out in the big bin.

almost everything from what looked to
I used to work retail at a hypermarket - yes throwing food out was huge!!! At one stage some was donated to Vinnies etc - "Best Before" doesn't mean it has died, and any bread/cakes/donuts etc left from the day was also donated.

Unfortunately, it was suddenly not ok to do so - if it couldn't be sold "in-store", it wasn't allowed to be given away either. Idiocy at the highest level IMHO, it really was very sad seeing it all being dumped into large waste bins, when the average household would keep a loaf for at least 3-4 days before it was all used up. :(
 

Himeno

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
3,478
I used to work retail at a hypermarket - yes throwing food out was huge!!! At one stage some was donated to Vinnies etc - "Best Before" doesn't mean it has died, and any bread/cakes/donuts etc left from the day was also donated.

Unfortunately, it was suddenly not ok to do so - if it couldn't be sold "in-store", it wasn't allowed to be given away either. Idiocy at the highest level IMHO, it really was very sad seeing it all being dumped into large waste bins, when the average household would keep a loaf for at least 3-4 days before it was all used up. :(
Woolworths is really going at this issue at the moment. They want "Zero food waste to landfill" by the end of the year. Which means they are changing many processes and ordering systems to reduce waste and increasing the amount of donation partners. I saw a 30 page document a few weeks ago covering each department and what can and can't be donated and how donations are to be done.


Part of the problem is that many people don't understand the difference between "use by" and "best before".
 

Melburnian1

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
16,244
Brumbys or Bakers Delight donate (among others) to my local Catholic Church's relief efforts. This is sensible, but I agree that for airlines, the cost of labour is a major stumbling block while it is hardly practical (or allowable from a security point of view) to have volunteers at an airport.
 

TheInsider

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jul 7, 2010
Messages
2,103
Back in the day, left over food was sometimes given to the staff at the end of the day or sectors. These days this doesn't happen, even if crew offer ground staff a drink, managers advise against it, this view is somehow based on 'stealing'.
 

Hvr

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
8,467
The other issue is suitable storage for food before it is collected by the next user. Also, if anything happens e.g. food poisoning then the original owner of the food may well be held liable despite not having control over its storage/handling for awhile.

This is also the reason why some restaurants refuse to let you take uneaten food home.
 

under the radar

AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 8, 2010
Messages
1,086
Woolworths is really going at this issue at the moment. They want "Zero food waste to landfill" by the end of the year. Which means they are changing many processes and ordering systems to reduce waste and increasing the amount of donation partners. I saw a 30 page document a few weeks ago covering each department and what can and can't be donated and how donations are to be done.


Part of the problem is that many people don't understand the difference between "use by" and "best before".
I always interpret 'best before' date as a rough 'guide' as to when it needs to be turfed ;) ...even on the odd occasion the 'use by' date gets 'stretched' too :oops:.. It helps built 'resistance' :D ... usually chuck it if it smells or looks 'iffy'..but then again I used to eat dirt as a youngster :shock:... 50yrs young and I'm still alive..much to some peoples disgust :D
 

markis10

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2004
Messages
30,091
I always interpret 'best before' date as a rough 'guide' as to when it needs to be turfed ;) ...even on the odd occasion the 'use by' date gets 'stretched' too :oops:.. It helps built 'resistance' :D ... usually chuck it if it smells or looks 'iffy'..but then again I used to eat dirt as a youngster :shock:... 50yrs young and I'm still alive..much to some peoples disgust :D
Use by is when food is safe to eat, FWIW most woollies meat has a use by when it should be a best before, which is essentially the date by which the food starts to loose its nutrients etc.
 

Quickstatus

AFF Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
7,090
Simple airline websites should allow preorder your snacks.

Some airports such as YVR and MSP allow restaurant quality food to be ordered from airport restaurants to be packaged and brought tovyou at the gate.

This would save a lot of time in trolley dolley activities. I reckon the airlines should allow pickup of a snack box as your board your airplane just as you pickup your headphones. Drinks are a different matter as there is a risk of spillage of hot liquids on passengers
 

Himeno

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
3,478
Use by is when food is safe to eat, FWIW most woollies meat has a use by when it should be a best before
ah... no. My store has ~400 lines in the meat department. 30 of them have "use by" on them. Everything else is "best before".
 

markis10

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2004
Messages
30,091

Attachments

Last edited:

basso

Active Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2002
Messages
682
Use by is when food is safe to eat, FWIW most woollies meat has a use by when it should be a best before, which is essentially the date by which the food starts to loose its nutrients etc.
I just checked the Woolworths meat I have, and it all says Best Before. I am not sure (and by that, I mean, I don't know) where in the supply chain the labels get printed, but maybe there is a printer set up wrongly somewhere.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Community Statistics

Threads
81,282
Messages
1,874,651
Members
49,160
Latest member
Rhonda
Top