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FSA urges people in Wales to “face freezer fears” in a bid to tackle food waste

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MISCONCEPTIONS about how to freeze food safely are contributing to food waste in Wales and across the UK, according to new research by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The research – released as part of Food Safety Week (Jul 4 – 10) – identified a number of freezing ‘myths’ that are preventing people in Wales from using their freezers to make food go further. 37% of those interviewed think that food should only be frozen on the day of purchase to be safe; 34% incorrectly said it is dangerous to refreeze meat after it has been cooked; and 39% wrongly believe that food can become unsafe to eat while in the freezer.

Three quarters (75%) of people surveyed in Wales have thrown food away in the past month, with bread (46%), fruit (39%), vegetables (34%) and leftover meals (25%) topping the list. The most common reason given by respondents in Wales for throwing food away is that they had bought too much of it, cited by 34% of people. 31% admit to throwing food away because it was past its ‘use by’ date, and over half (56%) say they feel guilty when they throw food away. However, the reasons given can all be avoided by making better use of the freezer.

In response, the FSA is focusing this year’s Food Safety Week on helping people to understand how to waste less food safely by making more of their freezers. Furthermore, the FSA, working with Defra and WRAP, has announced that it will be launching a review of the guidance provided to the food industry on date marking on food. This will include consideration for whether the remit of the guidance should be expanded to cover food storage and freezing advice for consumers.

The research also found that 93% of people in Wales say there are foods they would never freeze. A quarter (25%) of those surveyed in Wales would never freeze meat that was cooked after defrosting, with 78% of these people saying this is down to worries about food poisoning.

Steve Wearne, Director of Policy at the FSA, said:

“Every year, we throw away seven million tonnes of food and drink from our homes. Much of this waste is unnecessary, and a better understanding of how to freeze food safely could go a significant way towards tackling the problem.

“Our research shows that many of the fears the public has about freezing food are unfounded and we need to ensure they know the facts. 33% of the people we spoke to in Wales said that more information about how to safely freeze food would help them to reduce their food waste – that’s why freezing is the focus of this year’s Food Safety Week.

“The freezer is like a pause button, so you can freeze foods right up to the ‘use by’ date. While food is kept safe in the freezer, it’s the quality that deteriorates over time, so we recommend eating it within three to six months and checking for any freezing instructions on the packaging. Once defrosted, the pause button is off, so defrost food as and when you need it and eat it within 24 hours of it being fully defrosted.”

Helen White, food waste expert at Love Food Hate Waste, said:

“In the UK each household wastes the equivalent of about six meals a week, which is bad for our pockets and the planet! Reducing food waste is a big challenge, so the Love Food Hate Waste campaign is delighted to lend its support to Food Safety Week, which aims to raise awareness of this important issue. Freezing food is one of the little things we can all do to make a big difference and the best bit is that most foods can be frozen – even those you wouldn’t expect! For more fantastic freezer facts, visit wales.lovefoodhatewaste.com or hoffibwydcasaugwastraff.com.”

Top 10 tips to help reduce food waste

1)    Know the difference between “use by” and “best before” dates

“Use by” dates are the most important ones to consider, as these relate to food safety. Most foods can be frozen safely up until the “use by” date, but not after.

“Best before” dates are about quality, not safety. When the date is passed, it doesn’t mean that the food will be harmful, but it might begin to lose its flavour and texture.

2)    Don’t trust the sniff test!
Food can look and smell fine even after its use-by date, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat. It could still be contaminated. You cannot see, smell or taste the bugs that cause food poisoning.

3)    How long can I freeze things for and what about the Use by date?
Foods can be stored safely in a correctly functioning freezer for years without going off.  The freezer is like a pause button, so you can freeze foods safely right up to the “use by” date. Whilst food is kept safe in the freezer, it’s the quality that deteriorates over time, so we recommend consumption within three to six months to ensure the best quality, and check for any freezing instructions on the packaging.

Once defrosted, the pause button is off, so it’s best to defrost food as required and eat within 24 hours of it being fully defrosted.

4)    When should I freeze food?
Many people believe food can only be frozen on the day of purchase – as often recommended by retailers to preserve the quality of the food. However, you can safely freeze most foods right up to the “use by” date. Although it would be good to freeze the food as soon as you know you aren’t going to use it before its “use by” date expires.

5)    Did you know that you can safely freeze raw and cooked meats?
You can cook defrosted meat into a new meal and freeze for use on another day. Simply defrost overnight in the fridge (be careful that raw meat doesn’t drip on any other foods in the fridge and check it is thoroughly defrosted), use within 24 hours and cook until steaming hot.

6)    How long can you freeze meat for?
Generally you can freeze meat for a long time and it will still be safe to eat, but the quality will deteriorate so it’s best to eat it within three to six months to ensure it’s of the best quality. Don’t worry if it’s frozen for longer – try marinating it before cooking to improve texture or use herbs and spices to add flavour.

7)    Make the most of multi buys
If you are taking advantage of multi buys or larger pack sizes (e.g chicken breasts) you can freeze them individually in smaller bags to avoid having to eat them all at once. You can also cook enough for two (or more!) meals and eat one and freeze some for later – this avoids waste and minimises the effort of cooking.

8)    Batching cooking
Batch cooking, cooking new meals from leftovers and freezing of homemade foods, can be a great way of saving money (and time) and using up foods approaching their Use By date as well as reducing waste.

9)    Wrap up
It is best to place food in an air tight container or wrap food well in freezer bags, freezer wrap or cling film before placing in the freezer otherwise the cold air will dry it out. Try to expel any air from freezer bags.

10) Planning
Try and get into the habit of checking what you already have in the fridge and freezer before you go shopping. Use up foods that are approaching their Use by date and other fresh foods like fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, cheese or milk first as these can go off over time.

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CERED wins Careers Wales Valued Partners Award

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CERED staff were presented with a Silver Award Certificate, based on the work the Menter is doing to help students prepare for their future careers, at a special awards ceremony in Cardiff on 14 November.

The Valued Partners Award, which is organised by Careers Wales, recognises the support CERED provides to schools and young people to help them better understand the world of work and more specifically the importance and value of Welsh in the workplace.

Non Davies, CERED Manager said, “CERED is delighted to be recognized as a Valued Partner. The work that Rhodri Francis and the rest of the staff have done delivering Welsh in the Workplace sessions is extremely important to ensure that our young people understand the value of the Welsh language. The information presented often changes young people’s attitudes towards the Welsh language and positively influences their decisions when considering their future.”

Careers Wales creates links between education and employers by bringing schools and businesses together to inform, inspire and engage young people in their future careers.

Launched in 2018, the Business Education Exchange now offers schools the opportunity to engage with over 13,500 employers across Wales through a host of different activities.

As a Valued Partner, CERED has worked with Careers Wales for a number of years now delivering a ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ session to Year 9 pupils as part of ‘Your Choice, Your Future’ days. These career days are held at every Secondary School in Ceredigion on an annual basis.

More than 50 companies from all over Wales attended the awards ceremony in Cardiff, with BBC Radio Wales presenter Jason Mohammed at the helm.

Nikki Lawrence, Chief Executive of Careers Wales, said, “The Valued Partners Award scheme is vital to the work that Careers Wales does, and we really appreciate the support we receive from all our Valued Partners. Ultimately, we would love for employers to contribute to the national curriculum to ensure that the skills students develop will be useful for evolving workplaces.”

“Without our Valuable Partners, we would not have been able to reach so many students so early in the process, for which we are very grateful.”

For more information on how to work with Careers Wales to help raise young people’s awareness and spark their interest in the world of work, email employerengagement@careerswales.co.uk

CERED yn ennill Gwobr Partneriaid Gwerthfawr Gyrfa Cymru

Cyflwynwyd Tystysgrif Gwobr Arian i staff CERED ar sail y gwaith mae’r Fenter yn ei wneud yn helpu myfyrwyr i baratoi ar gyfer eu gyrfaoedd.

Mae Gwobr Partneriaid Gwerthfawr, sy’n rhoddedig gan gwmni Gyrfa Cymru, yn cydnabod y cymorth mae CERED yn ei roi i ysgolion a phobl ifanc i’w helpu i ddeall y byd gwaith yn well ac yn fwy penodol pwysigrwydd a gwerth y Gymraeg yn y gweithle. Cyflwynwyd y wobr mewn seremoni wobrwyo arbennig yng Nghaerdydd ar 14 Tachwedd.

Dywedodd Non Davies, Rheolwr CERED, “Mae CERED yn bles iawn o gael ei gydnabod fel Partner Gwerthfawr. Mae’r gwaith mae Rhodri Francis a gweddill y staff wedi ei wneud yn cyflwyno sesiynau Cymraeg yn y Gweithle yn hynod bwysig i sicrhau bod ein pobl ifanc yn deall gwerth y Gymraeg. Yn aml mae’r wybodaeth a gyflwynir yn newid agweddau pobl ifanc at y Gymraeg ac yn dylanwadu yn bositif ar eu penderfyniadau wrth ystyried eu dyfodol.”

Mae Gyrfa Cymru yn creu cysylltiadau rhwng addysg a chyflogwyr trwy ddod ag ysgolion a busnesau ynghyd i hysbysu, ysbrydoli a thanio diddordeb pobl ifanc yn eu gyrfaoedd yn y dyfodol.

Cafodd y Gyfnewidfa Addysg Busnes ei lansio yn 2018, ac erbyn hyn mae’n cynnig cyfle i ysgolion ddod i gysylltiad â dros 13,500 o gyflogwyr ledled Cymru trwy gyfrwng llu o wahanol weithgareddau.

Fel Partner Gwerthfawr, mae CERED wedi gweithio gyda Gyrfa Cymru ers nifer o flynyddoedd bellach gan gyflwyno sesiwn ‘Cymraeg yn y Gweithle’ i ddisgyblion Blwyddyn 9 fel rhan o ddiwrnodau ‘Eich Dewis, Eich Dyfodol’. Caiff y diwrnodau gyrfa hyn eu cynnal ym mhob Ysgol Uwchradd yng Ngheredigion yn flynyddol.

Roedd dros 50 o gwmnïau o bob cwr o Gymru yn bresennol yn y seremoni wobrwyo yng Nghaerdydd, a Jason Mohammed, cyflwynydd BBC Radio Wales, oedd wrth y llyw.

Meddai Nikki Lawrence, Prif Weithredwr Gyrfa Cymru, “Mae cynllun Gwobrau Partneriaid Gwerthfawr yn hollbwysig i’r gwaith mae Gyrfa Cymru yn ei wneud, ac rydym wir yn gwerthfawrogi’r gefnogaeth a gawn gan bob un o’n Partneriaid Gwerthfawr. Yn y pen draw, byddem wrth ein bodd pe bai cyflogwyr yn cyfrannu at y cwricwlwm cenedlaethol er mwyn sicrhau y bydd y sgiliau mae myfyrwyr yn eu datblygu yn ddefnyddiol i weithleoedd sy’n esblygu.”

“Heb ein Partneriaid Gwerthfawr, ni fyddai modd i ni gyrraedd cynifer o fyfyrwyr mor gynnar yn y broses, ac rydym yn ddiolchgar iawn iddynt am hynny.”

I gael mwy o wybodaeth am sut i weithio gyda Gyrfa Cymru i helpu i godi ymwybyddiaeth pobl ifanc a thanio eu diddordeb yn y byd gwaith, e-bostiwch employerengagement@careerswales.co.uk

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Spate of overnight burglaries in Clarach, Bow Street and Ponterwyd

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POLICE are investigating a spate of burglaries overnight in Clarach, Bow Street and Ponterwyd.

A number of burglaries have been reported, with entry forced to businesses and CCTV cameras damaged or removed.

In Bow Street, entry was forced into an agricultural merchants, where items were taken; and CCTV was removed from a business.

Two vehicles – a VW Passat – registration plate CU16 OAL – and an Audi – registration YT09 TWL – were also reported stolen from a garage in the village.

A VW Crafter – registration plate GM16OTP, along with tools and equipment were stolen from a business in Ponterwyd.

Four businesses at Nantallan Business Park were targeted:

Bikes and steamers were reported stolen from one, a generator and two boxes containing LED lighting from another, a Mitsubishi L200 flatbed truck taken from the third, and tools stolen from a fourth.

Police are treating the incidents as linked, and would like to speak to anyone with information or who witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the Clarach and Bow Street areas.

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Police confirm Ellie Bryan, 18, died in collision

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE can confirm the woman who tragically died following a collision at Commins Coch was Ellie Bryan, from Aberystwyth.
The 18-year-old was a passenger in a Vauxhall Astra which was involved in a collision at around 10pm on Saturday, November 16.
Her family has released the following statement: “We are distraught by our loss of Ellie. She will be missed by us all.
“Ellie was a loving daughter, sister and granddaughter.
“We would like to thank everyone for their support at this devastating time.
“We would appreciate having time to grieve in privacy.”
Police continue to appeal for witnesses or anyone with information about the collision to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit.
You can report information online at: http://bit.ly/dppReportOnline, by email at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20191116-353.

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