6000 school meals wasted over 2017 in Fife

School meals in Fife are being wasted. Pic by Alan Murray
School meals in Fife are being wasted. Pic by Alan Murray

A total of 6000 meals a week were wasted in Fife schools this year, according to a recent media report.

Information obtained through a Freedom of Information request showed that out of 120,000 plates prepared for school lunches within the Kingdom, five per cent were suplus to requirements.

Fife Council said that wasted food is always a concern, but the service face challenges when offering children a choice for their lunch as predicting their decision is difficult. However in future, changes are being made that should help to reduce waste.

Keith Breasley, hospitality service manager for the council, said: “Wasted food in schools is always a cause for concern both economically and morally. While staff monitor waste closely and use any leftovers as best they can, we have to be aware of both quality and food safety issues.

“Although it seems 6000 meals per week is a lot to waste, it actually equates to less than five per cent of meals produced and only an average of six meals per school each day.

“It is also important to recognise that we are obliged to offer choice throughout the lunch service and it is very difficult to predict accurately the choices a pupil will make.

“The council has recently purchased a system which will allow pupils to order their lunch in advance from their classroom – giving kitchen staff a list of meals required before they start cooking.

“This has proved very successful in other authorities and should greatly reduce waste.”