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How to donate your unmatched, unsold or unused food

How to donate your unmatched, unsold or unused food

At a time of events cancelling, eating houses thinning and no gatherings, we can not afford to waste good food. More people are hungry and less food is available

We have received several food rescue messages in the last couple of weeks. Today we got another from commercial food rescuers, Yume. Founder Katy Barfield, along with the rest of the food rescue industry want you to know that it is more important than ever to get your unwanted food into the hands of people who can use it. Her words say it better than ours, so here they are.

The recent development of events with the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) are severely impacting the Australian food industry. We have been hearing about small and large manufacturers, wholesalers and other food suppliers that have been left with large consignments of surplus food due to events being cancelled, changes in the export market and overall shift in their normal operations.

Our mission is to prevent good quality, edible food from going to waste. Today, more than ever, we want to offer our help. If you suddenly have consignments of surplus stock that you were not planning for, the Yume platform can help you find new business buyers outside of your usual network who might want to purchase your stock. Our role is to connect two sides of the market and provide a much needed return to our Aussie businesses. The process to list stock is very simple and our team will be here to help you every step of the way.

Below you will find a quick summary that explains the best solution for different situations. 

Each food rescue organisations has its own guidelines on what type of food they accept, but these are some generic rules:

What can be donated?

  • Care has been taken when handling, storing and packing food
  • High Risk Food is stored in clean, covered food-grade containers
  • High risk foods such as: meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products and small goods, or foods which contain these ingredients, such as sandwiches, quiches and prepared salads, are kept below 5°C or above 60°C and out of the Temperature Danger Zone
  • The food is to be collected by SecondBite in the shortest possible time
  • High-risk food left in the Temperature Danger Zone for more than 4 hours has been discarded
  • Everyone involved in handling donated food has maintained the highest standard of personal hygiene and cleanliness
  • The food container is labelled with the appropriate information required: product name, date prepared, use by date and where possible – ingredients (esp. allergens)
  • The food will still be in an edible state in 48 hours time from collection
  • ‘Use By’ dates must have at least 2 days life remaining
  • ‘Best Before’ dates must have at least 2 days life remaining for refrigerated items
  • ‘Best Before’ dates may be up to 3 months past for dry goods and providing the food is still fit for consumption

What cannot be donated?

  • Food past its ‘Use By’ date
  • Refrigerated food past its ‘Best Before’ date
  • Dry goods that are 3 months past the ‘Best Before’ date
  • Food that is damaged or perished to an extent that affects its reasonable use
  • Leaking or unsealed products
  • Cracked or broken eggs (remove broken from a carton before donating eggs)
  • Food with visible mould or contamination
  • Refrigerated items not stored and maintained at less than 5°C
  • Frozen items not stored and maintained at less than minus 15°C
  • Food that has been left in a bain-marie
  • Foods that have been served to the public on a buffet and/or unwrapped and exposed

Image: Unsplash - Toa Heftiba / Matrix - Yume
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