Lots of potential for savings in hospitals when it comes to food waste

2023-09-26 10:07:12

Almost a third of the food served in local hospitals ends up in the trash. According to calculations by the United Againts Waste initiative, around 20,000 tons of food waste is generated every year, which corresponds to a goods value of over 100 million euros. This amount could feed a city like Tulln for up to two years, it was said on Tuesday at a press conference in Vienna on the World Day against Food Waste on September 29th.

In addition, eating in crap is a climate driver: the CO2 emissions that result from this would be equivalent to around 99,000 flights from Vienna to Stockholm and back. “Avoiding food waste and passing on edible food is the order of the day,” said Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) according to the press release. She is pleased that “we are saving more food from the bin year after year.”

Austria has committed to the UN sustainability goal of halving avoidable food waste by 2030. The Ministry of Climate Protection and the City of Vienna support the programs that support public catering, catering and hotel businesses in their reductions. United Against Waste surveyed the proportion of food waste in 47 homes and extrapolated it to all 264 hospitals. Given that purchasing prices for commercial kitchens have increased by around 41 percent in the past two years, the average loss of goods is around 421,000 euros per year per house, depending on the size and structure of the location.

At the Vinzenz Group Orthopedic Hospital Speising, around 1,300 portions of food are cooked every day. Karin Wohlfarter from the provider kulinario reports: “We investigated the causes and precisely recorded the plate returns for components such as salad, milk, pastries or compote.” Menu plans and recipes were then adjusted and components that were often left over were replaced. Through menu planning, you can, for example, use leftover vegetables for soup stocks or process surplus quantities like bread into dumpling dough. The level of loss in Speising was reduced by a quarter from 2018 to 2022. With a loss rate of 13 percent, the kulinario location Seilerstätte/Barmfühle Brüder Linz has the best value in all of Austria.

The Vienna Health Association (Wigev), as the country’s largest healthcare provider, cares for around 228,000 inpatients every year in eight clinics, nine nursing homes and the Ybbs therapy center as well as 30,000 employees. 15 facilities take part in waste monitoring. It was said that the Hietzing Clinic and the Favoriten Clinic performed particularly well across Austria in terms of the degree of loss. Conscious ordering or unsubscribing also makes menu planning easier, but this requires raising awareness among patients. “That’s why the city of Vienna is supporting the ‘Nothing left for waste’ campaign days this year, in which 66 Viennese commercial kitchen locations are taking part,” Stephan Auer-Stüger (SP), deputy, was quoted as saying. Chairman of the Committee for Climate, Environment, Democracy and Human Resources in the Vienna City Council. Across Austria, 187 commercial kitchen locations are taking part.

(S E R V I C E – www.nixübrig.atwww.wenigermist.at )

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