Food wastage on plane

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by ermen, Apr 25, 2014.

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  1. ermen

    ermen Established Member

    Oct 9, 2010
    HKG (was SYD/PER)
    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...

  2. cirqueboy

    cirqueboy Member

    Nov 14, 2010
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    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....
  3. ermen

    ermen Established Member

    Oct 9, 2010
    HKG (was SYD/PER)
    The airline still had to order / cater a meal for you even if you chose to sleep...
  4. medhead

    medhead Suspended

    Feb 13, 2008
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    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.
  5. Archphoto

    Archphoto Established Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    Currently Adelaide
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    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. :(
  6. Sprucegoose

    Sprucegoose Senior Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    SE Aust
    The western world is the worst offender !!!!
  7. Danger

    Danger Senior Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    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.
  8. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    BNE & SYD
    Qantas are a donor to Secondbite, and probably OzHarvest as we'll given they work closely together on the CEO cook off.
  9. Boogs

    Boogs Intern

    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.
  10. get me outta here

    get me outta here Senior Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    CBR Country :)
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    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
  11. Himeno

    Himeno Established Member

    Jun 15, 2011
    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".
  12. Melburnian1

    Melburnian1 Enthusiast

    Jun 7, 2013
    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.
  13. TheInsider

    TheInsider Established Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    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'.
  14. Hvr

    Hvr Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    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.
  15. under the radar

    under the radar Established Member

    Apr 8, 2010
    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
  16. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    BNE & SYD
    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.
  17. Quickstatus

    Quickstatus Senior Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    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
  18. Himeno

    Himeno Established Member

    Jun 15, 2011
    ah... no. My store has ~400 lines in the meat department. 30 of them have "use by" on them. Everything else is "best before".
  19. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    BNE & SYD
    #19 markis10, Apr 26, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
    Sounds like you need to speak to a food technologist, re aged meat ;)

    This label is wrong, meat will never have a use by when it's best before date is a significant period before that.

    Attached Files:

  20. basso

    basso Active Member

    Sep 15, 2002
    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.

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