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Restaurant worker vents frustrations over management's wastefulness: 'It being a liability concern is absolutely an urban legend'

They also said that the food waste was not being recorded by the restaurant at all.

They also said that the food waste was not being recorded by the restaurant at all.

Photo Credit: iStock

Many businesses have policies that lead to food waste, such as throwing away food on its sell-by date when it's still edible and safe. But what's especially frustrating is when a business throws away new, fresh food that's completely untouched. One front-of-house worker faced exactly that situation after a New Year's party at their workplace.

What happened?

The worker posted about the enraging experience on r/KitchenConfidential, a subreddit for anonymous confessions and venting from food industry employees.

"Last night I witnessed our Sous throw out two sheet trays of beautiful Madelines and tons of other food from the New Years Event," they complained. "We threw out pounds and pounds of sides without asking anyone or even doing family meal."

"Family meal" is a custom in which restaurant workers such as kitchen staff and servers are provided a meal cooked at the restaurant, usually when the establishment isn't too busy. But apparently, that wasn't the case at this server's workplace.

"I was asked to pay $10 for a steak before they threw them all out," they revealed. "I need to know if I am insane for thinking that's f***** up and at least a little disrespectful to the whole staff, especially on what should be a night of celebration!"

They also said that the food waste was not being recorded by the restaurant at all.

Why does it matter if a restaurant throws food out?

Every bite of edible food that gets thrown in the trash is a bite that could have gone to a hungry person and didn't. That affects the kitchen staff, who should normally be able to expect a meal during their shift by traditional industry standards; it also affects anyone who might have benefited from food donations.

It also has an impact on the environment. Producing food uses land, water, materials, labor, and energy, and it causes pollution from pesticides, animals, processing plants, and transportation. When food gets thrown away, we have to make more to replace it, increasing the burden on the planet.

Why might this restaurant avoid giving away food?

One commenter doubted that a restaurant could safely make a food donation. "Say someone takes food home and a family member gets food poisoning, from any source, they could blame the restaurant and try to sue," they said.

But according to the original poster, that's not the case. "In the US there are laws in place to completely protect you for donating food," they said. "It being a liability concern is absolutely an urban legend."

How can you minimize food waste?

To help prevent waste and get a great deal at the same time, look at apps like Too Good To Good. This service lets you buy food that's close to its sell-by date at a discount. It's still good to eat, and you can find some incredible dishes from local stores and restaurants.

You can also look for ways to keep food fresh longer and make the most of your leftovers.

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