North Lincolnshire Council is encouraging residents to make the most of their freezer this Christmas and use the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) Freezer Fairy tips.
The FSA’s Christmas campaign focuses on educating people on how to use their freezer effectively to help reduce food waste safely.
The theme highlights the cost and time-saving benefits freezing by offering helpful tips and guidance on freezing and defrosting festive foods.
Christmas can be a busy and stressful time. While 43 per cent of people feel that buying presents is their main worry, cooking Christmas dinner ranks as second along with family arguments.
In the UK we throw away seven million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, most of which could have been eaten.
Wasting this food costs the average household £470 a year. During the festive season the volume of food being prepared (and potentially wasted) peaks, when many people are catering for large groups of friends and family.
In North Lincolnshire it is estimated that 11,000 tonnes of food waste is thrown away each year.
This Christmas, prepare in advance and reduce food waste from leftovers by using your freezer like a pause button – it’s safe to freeze food up until the ‘use by’ date.
You can freeze meat, and meals cooked from previously cooked and frozen meat e.g. leftovers from a roast turkey. But once defrosted, the pause button is off and you should eat the food within 24 hours.
Take a look at the Freezer Fairy tips on the Love Food Hate Waste website, www.lovefoodhatewaste.com. This includes:
Getting ready for Christmas tips
Other festive food tips
Entertaining food tips
Leftovers and reducing food waste tips
A North Lincolnshire Council spokesperson, said: “Cooking for more people than normal can mean having to handle different defrosting and cooking times for food, making sure that large amounts of food are stored safely, and ensuring any leftovers are safe to eat, while reducing any unnecessary waste.
“Understanding what can and can’t be frozen and when it is safe to freeze will make sure you are prepared for Christmas and will reduce food waste.
“By following the Food Standards Agency’s freezer and food safety tips, you can make sure you and your family have a safe and happy Christmas.”