Reduce food waste

Check out our top tips for reducing your food waste. Have a great tip? Share with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram #TasteNotWasteCambridge.

Get your ordering in order

If you find that your business is throwing away food because of spoilage, then check out our top tips for ordering:

Stock take: check your stock and buy only what you need

Little and often: order less but more often to save on storage space and keep food fresh

Neat and tidy: order pre-prepared meat, fish and veg to save on prep time and food waste

Keep it local: consider using local growers to help ensure food freshness

Grow your own: grow herbs and salads on your windowsill or outside space – all taste and no waste!

Super storage

Savvy and well-organised storage can increase efficiency in your kitchen and avoid food spoilage. Check out some of our favourite tips for super storage:

  • Form an orderly queue: store new items at the back to ensure older items are used first
  • Right place, right time: Store food in the right place as soon as it is delivered. Check out our food storage guide to help keep food fresher for longer
  • Mark it up: label and date food to reduce spoilage
  • Get friendly with your fridge: store raw meat, fish and eggs at the bottom of your fridge, unwashed fruit and veg on the next shelf up, and cooked/ prepared food and washed fruit and veg on the top shelves. Avoid overloading your fridge or freezer and treat your fridge to a thermometer to keep your food at optimum temperature
  • Sleep tight: use airtight containers to keep food at its best 
  • That’s a wrap: BeeBee Wraps, locally made in Cambridge, are reusable, beeswax-coated cotton food wraps which keep all kinds of food fresher for longer. And not a scrap of plastic in sight!
  • Hug it out: we also love Food Huggers and similar brands – silicone, airtight seals for the ends or halves of veg, keeping them happy for when you next need them!

Taste Not Waste menu

If you find that your business is throwing away food from preparation or spoilage, consider:

Slim down: reduce your menu choices to avoid high running costs for ingredients, food preparation and waste

Ingenious ingredients: explore ways of using the same ingredients, cooked in different ways for different dishes

Love your leftovers: a daily specials board can help to use up excess ingredients

Souped up: throw in vegetable trimmings to soups and stock

Raise a toast: rescue leftover toast as breadcrumbs for fishcakes and stale bread for puddings and crostini

Tasty trimmings: turn meat and fish offcuts into pâtés and terrines

Jammin’: turn excess produce into chutneys, pickles, jams, compotes and sauces

Get whizzy: use squidgey fruit in smoothies, juices, sauces and ice creams 

Roast it up: roast veg which is past its best for all sorts of delicious dishes

Milk it: use surplus milk and cream in smoothies, sauces and ice cream

Hey pesto: turn sad-looking herbs into zingy pesto.

Perfect portions

If you see food waste from your customers’ plates, consider: 

  • People power: involve front of house staff in identifying the most common leftovers. Listen to feedback from customers and engage staff in the menu design process
  • Optimise portion size: reduce portion sizes for common leftovers like chips or bread
  • Weigh it out: measure ingredients and portions using scales and scoops
  • Size it up: offer different options for portion size
  • Side with that? provide side dishes as options or on request
  • Buffet patrol: monitor your buffet and only top up as needed.

Take it away!

Offer customers the option to take home their leftover food and enjoy later. Provide leftovers in food-grade packaging and let customers know that they are responsible for the safety of the food once they take it away from your premises.

Contact Cambridge City Council Environmental Health team for any queries around food safety.