Food waste has negative environmental, social, and economic impacts.
At Creative Dining Services we have developed our Trashed™ program to reduce food waste at all our locations.
The highest priority in this program is source reduction. Several best practices are employed to achieve this goal, including inventory accuracy, organized storerooms and walk-ins, a consistent labeling and dating system, and practicing FIFO: First-In-First-Out with food goods.
Data is essential to reducing waste, as it enables us to purchase accurately. We do our production math, keeping our records for one year. On this we note all excess food, and then reference this information to plan accordingly the next year.
Other practices that assist in source reduction include:
- Eliminating self-serve wherever possible.
- Practicing portion control. This is especially important with animal proteins.
- Utilizing the appropriate vessel size.
- Going tray-less in All-You-Care-To-Eat venues. Tray-less AYCTE operations realize food waste and economic savings of 10-20%.
The second priority in waste reduction is food rescue. To this end, at Creative Dining we get creative with leftovers – using grains in soups and salads, leftover meats and veggies in soups, salads, on pizzas, and in omelets. This adds color, nutrients, and gets properly handled food back into service.
Pre-consumer excess food is donated to local agencies that are feeding food-insecure people. These donations are covered by the Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act which protects donors from liability when they donate to a non-profit organization.
Food items that cannot be reused as leftovers or donated to local agencies are donated to local farms when possible, or pulped and composted, also when possible.