How to share food safely?
We’ve developed a robust yet simple Food Safety Management System (FSMS) available in the Documents section of the Volunteer Hub that all FWHs have to follow. It is reviewed every year by our Primary Authority and is based on a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) study.
Here is a list of issues relating to food safety that you need to be aware of. Full details referenced here are all contained within our 🎥 Food Waste Hero training videos and in the Documents sections of the Volunteer Hub.
To avoid issues with food allergies or intolerances, it is very important that FWHs have the information needed to make safe food choices. Check out our Allergens FAQ for more details. But remember:
- All FWH listings contain a link to our allergens web page.
- Only collect undamaged packaged items with clear ingredients and allergens.
- Do not identify loose bakery items, name them ''lose bakery items'' instead.
🎥 If you prefer to learn via videos, check out our Allergens video.
❓Find more information in our FAQ: Food Waste Hero: Allergens.
When collecting loose bakery items:
- Always take photos, so requesters can see for themselves.
- Do not identify loose bakery items, name them ''loose bakery items'' instead.
- If no hand-washing facilities are available, please use hand sanitiser and/or tongs when handling unsealed items (e.g. pastries, baked goods or anything that can't be washed).
- Requesters can identify and find allergen info on the allergens web page.
🎥 If you prefer to learn via videos, check out our Bakery items video.
❓Find more information in our FAQ: How to share unpackaged food items.
There are 4 types of food you might collect:
1. 🥫 Ambient foods such as cans, packaged biscuits, whole fruit & veg, pastries and bread.
2. 🍱 Chilled foods such as packed sandwiches, ready meals and yoghurts.
- Must be refrigerated as quickly as possible and always within 1.5 hours of collection.
- Keep chilled to maximum 5°c until sharing.
3. 🌯 Hot foods such as toasties, pies, soups and stews.
- Must be at least 63°c at the time of collection.
- If hot food is not in hot hold at the time of collection or if you think the food is not hot enough, ask a member of staff to control the temperature. If it is below 63°c, reject it.
- Hot food must be redistributed within 1.5 hours of collection OR refrigerated once hand warm and then redistributed within 24 hours.
4. ❄️ Frozen foods such as peas, pizzas and meat.
- Food collected frozen must be placed in a freezer below -18°c as quickly as possible and always within 1.5 hours of collection and shared within 1 month OR thawed in a refrigerator until completely defrosted and shared within 24 hours.
- Check out our dedicated page on frozen foods.
🎥 If you prefer to learn via videos, check out our Distributing and Handling food (+ food types).
"Use By" and "Best Before" dates:
As a FWH, the most important things to remember are:
- "Use By" dates are all about safety - There must not be any listings, or even pick-ups arranged, for items that have passed their "Use By" dates. Please ensure that such items are listed for the correct amount of time under “List for” when adding your listing.
- "Best Before" dates are all about quality and ambient foods with a "Best Before" date can be shared beyond that date. Just use your best judgement on quality.
- Chilled food with a "Best Before" date can be shared after the date but must still be shared within 24 hours of collection.
- Please always ensure any expiry date is clearly visible in your listing photo or write it in the description 📸
❓Check out our dedicated FAQ: Expiry dates explained. Check out how to Report Issues if you
🎥 If you prefer to learn via videos, check out our Use by and Best before dates video.
Storage and sharing locations
- Food must be stored in your kitchen, not in another room, never on the floor and away from pets and children.
- FWHs must share food from their registered home location.
Do not volunteer to collect and share food as a FWH if you or anyone in your household is ill. Please find cover by pausing or skipping your collection slot via the Volunteer Hub.