The Frozen Food Failure

Confusion is a word which we continue to use when it comes to discussing the causes of food waste. Whether it’s misinterpretation of sell-by, use-by or best-before dates, or what can be reheated and used again, the outcome is always the same: more of our food ending up in the bin.

The latest poll from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has uncovered another problem to add to the list: the freezer.

With statistics showing that the equivalent of up to 6 meals per household per week are thrown away due to confusion over frozen food, the signs are not good. 43% of those polled by the FSA thought that food should only be frozen on the day of purchase, rather than up to and including the sell-by date.

38%, meanwhile, confessed that they thought it was dangerous to re-freeze meat after it had been cooked, whilst another 36% argued that food could become unsafe whilst stored in the freezer. All were misconceptions.

Steve Wearne, the FSA Policy Director, was keen to clear up any misinterpretations. He commented “The freezer is like a pause button, so you can freeze foods right up to the ‘use by’ date.

"While food is kept safe in the freezer, it's the quality that deteriorates over time, so we recommend eating it within three to six months.”

More voices like that of the FSA’s in confirming the do’s and dont’s when it comes to frozen food might now be needed, if the current food waste catastrophe is to be tackled in the near future.