Is Shelf Life a Problem for Food Waste in the UK?

A report by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) published a report this week, which suggested that pubs and restaurants in the UK could save up to £724 million a year by tackling food waste.

It is estimated that over 3.4 million tonnes of waste including food, glass and card is produced by restaurants, hotels, pubs and fast food restaurants each year.

Around 43% of the waste is thrown away, mainly to landfill. The report from WRAP, states that 600,000 tonnes was food waste and 400,000 of which, could have been eaten.

Two week old sandwiches

However, scientists have discovered the secret to a long-shelf-life sandwich, which could be one of the answers to minimising food waste.

For the majority of us, a two week old sandwich will go in the bin. But producers claim the new sandwiches will be as good on day 14 as they are on day one.

The flavours for the oatmeal bread sandwiches include, ham and cheese, chicken tikka, cheese and onion, chicken and bacon and tuna mayonnaise. The new sandwiches will be sold by Booker and is targeted at customers on a budget and on the go, at £1.49 a packet.

Sales director of retail at Booker, Steve Fox said “They taste and look great. With a longer shelf life than most sandwiches, they are ideal to reduce retailers’ wastage”.

The concept of the sandwich goes against most modern food suppliers stand for, with many taking pride in preparing fresh food every day e.g. Pret A Manger and EAT.

How does it work?

Firstly, you won’t find any lettuce or tomatoes in the sandwiches as they tend to go soggy. All the fillings are mixed with slightly acidic mayonnaise, which acts as a preservative. However, the secret to the long life sandwiches is to suck out oxygen from the packaging and replace it with nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

Richard Swannell, WRAP waste prevention and design Director said, “Working together, there is a real opportunity to recycle more and reduce waste. It is clear from our findings that the hospitality sector, do favour recycling but more could be done with the support of restaurants, suppliers and commercial restaurant insurance providers”.

QuoteSearcher are glad that these sandwiches may help minimise food wastage, but they don’t sound too appealing to eat in our opinion. Will you be trying out the new sandwich?

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