Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

French Government to Force Supermarkets to Give Away Unsold Food

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-french-cheese-shop-paris-dozens-kinds-french-chees-france-december-december-france-image41368018Attempting to bridge the gap between “an epidemic of food waste” and a hungry subset of its population, the French government will be requiring supermarkets to give unsold food to charities and animal feed operations, according to the Guardian.

The bill was passed May 21 with bipartisan support in the French Parliament. It will require big supermarkets to sign contracts with charities by July 2016 or face fines up to €75,000 ($82,000).

In recent years, some French supermarkets have begun pouring bleach over their throwaway food to dissuade people from foraging in dumpsters and potentially contracting foodborne illnesses from spoiled food.

For many types of foods sold in supermarkets, however, passing an expiration date does not introduce a significant foodborne illness risk. Many expiration dates only indicate a time at which the food is not in optimal shape.

The average French citizen is estimated to throw out 44 to 66 pounds of food each year, 15 pounds of which is still in its packaging. This new supermarket law is part of a greater effort to cut food waste in France by 50 percent in the next 10 years.

© Food Safety News
  • Rod Averbuch

    Food waste is a lose-lose situation for the environment, the struggling families in today’s tough economy and for the food retailers.
    Fortunately, there are new ways to avoid unsold food waste.
    The new open GS1 DataBar barcode standard enables new food waste reduction applications that offer relevant, environmentally friendly and personalized fresh food deals.
    An example of such an application is the “End Grocery Waste” App. This GS1 DataBar based application encourages efficient consumer shopping behavior that makes fresh food affordable for all families, maximizes grocery retailer revenue, and effectively reduces the global carbon footprint.

  • Gary

    Unfortunately food waste is only going to grow over the next few years as the trend with non-GMO and eliminating preservatives in foods continues.

  • Terry Jones

    Good move – Else the pitchforks and guillotines will be out again.
    I reckon other developed countries should follow suit.
    The USA would probably never do it & will end up in the ‘too hard’ basket.