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What is food surplus?

Food surplus occurs when the supply and availability of food exceed its demand; this can happen at every stage of the supply chain. The surplus food we rescue might otherwise be sent to landfill where conditions cause food waste to release methane, 20 times more powerful than other greenhouse gases.

how much food surplus is in the uk?

The annual food waste in the UK in 2018 was estimated at around 9.5 million tonnes! That’s a lot of food to go to waste! However, we are working hard at rescuing and repurposing as much of that as we can to help our local communities!


Food surplus can be caused by many things, such as overproduction, physical imperfections, damaged packaging, or food being past its
best-before date. These reasons can lead to food being wasted when it is perfectly nutritious and safe to eat.

What do we do with food surplus?

Food surplus is vital to The BIG FOOD Truck. The food we receive from our suppliers is redistributed to our members via our Partner Food Hubs.

Best before vs use by dates

Food labels provide a wide range of information about foods, they can show the nutritional information, list of ingredients, allergens and a range of different dates. However, use by and best before dates often need clarification.

Use By Date

Use by dates indicate the date before which the food is at it’s optimum.

Freezing food before its use-by date extends its life. But once defrosted, you should eat the food within 24 hours. Do not freeze food after its use-by date.

We will never give you food past it use-by date.

Best Before Dates

Best before dates indicate the length of time for which a food will be at its best quality.

They appear on a wide range of foods including fresh, frozen, dried and tinned.  They generally appear on foods with a longer shelf life.

Food that has passed its best before date is tasty and nutritious and is not unsafe to eat.
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