Wasting less food could save households £480Better use of fridges and freezers key to savings

21 August 2010

A fridge full of food

A third of all the food we buy is thrown away

Households could save £480 a year by cutting down on food waste, according to new research.

Using fridges and freezers more effectively is crucial to unlocking these savings, and supermarkets could do more to help consumers do this, says WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), which commissioned the research.

WRAP recommends that supermarkets sell fridge thermometers, communicate the importance of good temperature control in keeping food fresh, increase the use of the 'snowflake' logo (which shows that a product can be frozen) and move away from 'freeze on the day of purchase' labelling where appropriate.

Which? fridges and freezers expert Carole Shepherdson says: 'Getting your fridge and freezer settings right can help to keep your food in the best possible condition, and help you save money in the process. These measures could help consumers to do that if supermarkets implement them.'

Our video guides to buying the best fridge and buying the best freezer can help you find the right refrigeration appliances for your home.

Confusion leads to waste

The research, which looked at ways consumers buy and store chilled and frozen foods, suggests that a significant amount of food is wasted because of consumer confusion. For example, although most people know what their fridge temperature should be, they don’t have the means to check and adjust this.

WRAP's director of retail Richard Swannell said that the organisation would continue to work closely with the Food Standards Agency and with industry to ensure that food safety is not compromised by the efforts to reduce unnecessary food waste.

WRAP estimates that £12bn worth of food and drink is needlessly thrown away each year. Check out our recycling guide for some great tips on wasting less food and recycling more effectively.

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