Category Archives: Campaigns

Freeze-by: Sainsbury’s chills over dates

freeze bySupermarket Sainsbury’s is relaxing its freeze-by advice in a move that it suggests will save billions of pounds in food waste.

The supermarket is to update product labeling (as pictured) to advise that suitable foods can be frozen “as soon as possible up to the use by date”. Typically the advice given has been to “freeze on day of purchase”.

Beth Hart, Sainsbury’s head of product technology for fresh and frozen said: “The ‘freeze on day of purchase’ advice needs to be changed as there is no food safety reason why it cannot be frozen at any point prior to the use by date.” She adds: “As a large UK retailer, we have a responsibility to minimise food waste where possible and this new labelling will certainly help us do that. As one customer pointed out to me while discussing the previous labelling, ‘how does the product know which day I purchased it on?'”

According to figures from the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)  UK households waste around 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink every single year, most of which could have been eaten, costing families up to  £50 every single month.  The figure amounts to a whopping £600 a year and is obviously an unnecessary cost in any household – freezing surplus food and saving leftovers does really pay for itself. It is not yet known if the other major supermarket chains are also changing their freeze-by labeling.

Among the WRAP food-saving suggestions is a tip to freeze milk and thaw in the fridge when you need it. I’ve previously tried this, freezing a four-pint container of semi-skinned with just a bit poured beforehand to allow for ice expansion. The issue I had was that it took an age to defrost in the fridge and was still pretty-much frozen when I actually needed it. So with milk maybe you might to plan ahead to allow for thawing?

Here’s a little tip that you might want to try. Rather than pour the splash of unwanted wine left at the bottom of a bottle, pour it into an ice-cube tray and you’ll have handy wine cubes for adding to a dish that includes a splash of wine.

Kitchen Mixers: As noisy as a chain saw

chainsawNow it’s not very likely that you’d fire up a petrol chainsaw in your kitchen, but if you did can you imagine how noisy it’d be? Here’s a clue… about as noisy as some kitchen mixers!

We all know that some tools and appliances make a lot of noise, things like chainsaws (pictured), lawnmowers and vacuum cleaners are noisy. But a lot of household noise is generated in your kitchen with items such as mixers, blenders and juicers being just some of the culprits. A decent size electric mixer can be measured as generating 95dB (decibels) of noise – that’s pretty much the same as a chainsaw. We regularly bake cakes at home and there’s no doubt that our trusty electric Kenwood  mixer makes quite a bit of noise when running on full speed. In fairness, some of the noise comes from the whisks spinning against the side of the mixing bowl and that’s pretty much unavoidable.

The Quiet Mark is a trading arm of the Noise Abatement Society and it awards a Q stamp – a kite mark equivalent – to products that have been specifically designed to make much less noise than their traditional counterparts. For example, one Quite Mark blender is about eight times quieter than the average blender and an electric juicer makes 50dB of noise less than similar models.

Other obvious culprits in the kitchen are washing machines, dishwashers (although ours doesn’t seem too bad) and my own bug bear the cooker hood. We’ve got a Neff cooker hood over the hob and on setting 3 it really does make a right old racket! A kettle generates about 50dB of noise which is apparently the same as heavy rain falling outside.

dualit toasterSome noises from your kitchen will though be appealing or heart warming if they bring back happy memories. For me, it’s the ticking of the manual timer on my beloved Dualit toaster. I’d wanted a stainless steel Dualit (like the one pictured) for years and took the opportunity to treat myself when its predecessor went kaput. I just love the ticking that the timer makes, especially as it speeds up as it nears the end. It means one thing …hot buttered toast is only seconds away!