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Food labelling under the spotlight


Forest of Dean District Council supports Food Safety Week


Forest of Dean residents are being reminded about how best to reduce food waste by the Joint Waste Team at the district council in support of national Food Safety Week which runs this week (4-10 July).

Organised by the Food Standards Agency, this year's campaign - entitled Eat it, Cook it, Freeze it - focuses on practical tips and advice on how to cut the amount of food waste generated by homes and businesses. 

Councillor Marrilyn Smart, Cabinet Member for the Environment at the Forest of Dean District Council, said: 'Research by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) shows that two-thirds of the 7 million tonnes of food waste thrown away by UK households every year could have been eaten rather than discarded which is why campaigns such as Food Safety Week are so relevant.'

'Food waste is a big environmental problem but there is a lot that householders and business managers can do to reduce it.  One of the key messages of the campaign - knowing the difference between 'Use By' and 'Best Before' dates - is a good start and can help save money too.  Over the course of a year the average family throws away around £700 worth of food shopping, most of it totally unnecessarily, which will either end up in landfill or at best turned into compost or used to produce biogas which can be fed back to the grid.'

'Food Safety Week aims to make us more familiar about the everyday labelling used on the foods we buy.  'Use by' dates are about safety.  Foods can be eaten (or frozen) up until the 'Use by' date, but not after.  'Best Before' dates are about quality.  Food will be safe to eat after this date but not be at its best,' she continued.

More information about food safety, including how to safely freeze raw and cooked meats, can be found at  For helpful tips and hints about food waste reduction visit

The Forest of Dean District Council provides a weekly food waste recycling service to all households.  Residents needing a new or replacement food waste caddy can order them by calling the council on 01594 810000.  Food caddies are provided free of charge.

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