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Chill the Fridge out this World Food Day, and curb food waste in Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign is urging the nation to Chill the Fridge Out this World Food Day (16 October) after a survey revealed half of the population don’t know what temperature their fridge should be (1).

16 Oct 18

Scottish families waste on average £60 a month, or £700 a year, throwing away food that could have been eaten, with incorrect storage being cited as a major cause.

This includes 25 million litres of milk which are wasted in our homes in Scotland each year, or 270,000 glasses of milk every day in Scottish homes. That’s enough for 13 million cups of tea, or over half a million bowls of cereal every day.

In a fridge set at the right temperature, milk – the country’s third most-wasted food product – and other chilled foods can last three days longer.

Milk is our third most wasted food after bread and potatoes.

The optimum temperature of fridge is below 5 degrees. The average temperature of a fridge is 7 degrees. To help the public get their fridges below 5 degrees, Love Food Hate Waste today launched a free to use online tool called chillthefridgeout.com and a social media campaign with a chance to win a Hotpoint fridge freezer. The easy-to-use tool demonstrates how to achieve optimum chill in 24 of the most popular fridge brands, as temperature controls vary hugely between makes and models.

Ylva Haglund, Food Waste Campaigns Manager, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Our fridges are often too hot for our food to handle, which means that milk and other food items are going off too soon and getting thrown away. We wouldn’t chuck money in the bin, but the average family in Scotland throws away £60 a month by wasting food that could have been eaten. We also know that fighting food waste is one of the best ways we can tackle climate change at home.

“This is a really useful tool from Love Food Hate Waste to help fight food waste in our homes. If we all make small changes then together we can make a big difference. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we just Chill the Fridge Out?”

Today’s UN World Food Day focuses on achieving Zero Hunger by 2030.  Every year we waste enough food in the UK to feed everyone in Scotland for 731 days.

In addition to using the chillthefridgeout.com tool, Love Food Hate Waste also recommends these top tips to get your fridge below 5 degrees:

  • Shut the fridge door! The temperature inside a fridge rises significantly each time the door is opened and could take hours to cool down again. Make sure you shut the door when you get your milk out to make a cuppa.
  • Use a thermometer. Keep a fridge thermometer inside your fridge so you can keep an eye on the temperature. These are available from retailers such as Lakeland, Wilko and others.
  • Store food in the right area of the fridge. Some parts of the fridge are less cool than others – for example, the door. Take a look at our video for advice on where best to store different items.
  • Keep it cool. Use a cool bag to keep chilled food cool on the way home from the shops.

Go to www.chillthefridgeout.com and use #ChillTheFridgeOut on social to find out how to set your fridge below 5 degrees and cut down your food waste.

Notes For Editors

About the Research

(1) ‘Half of the population don’t know what temperature their fridge should be’. This was developed as part of a WRAP conducted food trends survey, size: 3,377.

  • Zero Waste Scotland exists to create a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted. Our goal is to help Scotland realise the economic, environmental and social benefits of making best use of the world’s limited natural resources. We are funded to support delivery of the Scottish Government’s circular economy strategy and the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy.
  • More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at www.zerowastescotland.org.uk. You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland though via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  • More information on Love Food Hate Waste, delivered in Scotland by Zero Waste Scotland can be found at https://scotland.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/lovefoodhatewastescotland
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