A new initiative in the process of reducing food waste

From now on, food producers and traders will be able to supply frozen fresh packed meat to charity canteens. On 15 January, amendments to legal acts providing for a possibility to freeze fresh packed meat of different kinds with expiry dates coming to an end this way ensuring conditions for extending the date of durability for food intended for charity or support in order to increase the sustainability in the food supply chain.

These amendments to legal acts were initiated by the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) to contribute to the common goal of the EU Member States to reduce the extent of food waste as well as having regard to objectives of the Farm to Fork Strategy of the European Commission and goals of the European Green Deal.

Food is wasted or thrown out all over the food supply chain, therefore, all the EU Member States are seeking to reduce the food waste per capita on the retail and consumer levels by 2030.

The SFVS drafted amendments to the Procedure for Handling Food Intended for Charity or Support, which provide for the possibility to freeze and supply to charity organisations for processing at charity canteens packed fresh meat of different kinds (poultry meat, pigmeat, beef, etc.) with the expiry date coming to an end, which is labelled with the indication of “Use by date...”.

It should be noted that relevant requirements apply to the freezing process of food, i. e. fresh meat. They apply both to those establishments, which are going to supply this production for charity or support purposes, and to those who are going to receive it.

One of the major conditions is that fresh meat products intended for charity or support will need to be adequately labelled to ensure the safety and health of consumers. For example, based on the provided recommendations, food products will have to be frozen not later than 12 or 24 hours accordingly before the expiry of the indicated date of durability “Use by date...”. Those recommendations also explain the procedure for the extension of the date of durability for the frozen food products.

The plan is, in view of the experience gained, to consider a possibility to allow freezing a broader range of foods, for example, different meat products, as well as milk, confectionary products, different vegetables or fruits, etc., in the near future to help to save food.