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Topic: Wasted food.......

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Subject: Wasted food.......
Date Posted: 4/14/2009 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2008
Posts: 347
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I have a daughter who works at McDonalds and a son who use to work at Wendy's and Burger King. It is very disturbing but all three of these resaurants waste tons of food everyday! All three throw away all the food they have made up when the menu changes from breakfast to lunch items. My children told me that almost everyday it is enough food to feed about 40 to 60 people or more.  They also said that the resaurants won't even let the employees have any of it if they are going on break. We have several homeless shelters and soup kitchens in our town that could immediately give that food out to hungry people, I mean before it is even cold it would be eaten!!! However all three companies say that the company considers it stealing if someone (including the employees) eat that food! I know this because I actually went to all three restaurants and asked if I could have the food picked up by the shelters or soup kitchens. Now, imagine just for a moment, how many McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger Kings ect ect. that there are in the U.S. THAT IS A LOT OF FOOD BEING WASTED EVERYDAY IN OUR COUNTRY AND WE HAVE STARVING PEOPLE!!!!! I know fast food is not good to eat very often but if someone is starving it would be welcome I am sure. Our wasteful habits have to change or we are going to have a very grim future. Very sad.

Date Posted: 4/14/2009 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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It is sad. When I worked at McDonalds, it was the same way. They consider it stealing. Crazy, I know. When the food is about a minute past it's 'good to eat' time, they throw the food out then too.

I wouldn't say that it would feed 40-60 people though. But maybe that is just the one I worked at. But looking at the big picture, even if it could feed ONE person, that's one person that isn't going hungry. And there are a lot of McDonalds out there.

Date Posted: 4/14/2009 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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It's crazy but that's about how companies are nowadays.

Date Posted: 4/14/2009 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2009
Posts: 1
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Sadly I don't think they really have a choice with how lawyer-happy America has become.  Every time someone at a shelter got sick after eating "waste" food there would a line of lawyers ready to go after a settlement from McDonalds.  I'm not saying it's right but it's CYOA.

Date Posted: 4/14/2009 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 1,083
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This has always saddened me. It isn't just in other countries far away on the other side of the world  that people are starving but right here in our own communities. And just think of the food that just one McDonald's throws away in a year and mulitply that with all the fast food restaurants across the country. And it isn't just fast food  but other kinds of restaurants as well.

I used to work at a bakery years ago and if items that weren't purchased by the time they were a day old, they were tossed. Employees couldn't have them and they would not give them away to anyone else either.

I always thought that if I would ever have a business that I wouldn't throw away things that someone could make use of. There are soup kitchens, shelters etc. that would be so grateful for these things. And think of the good will to the community it would create. If someone who had been down and out and received that act of kindness, wouldn't they be likely to come back as customers later when their situation got better?

Date Posted: 4/15/2009 7:23 AM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
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There are a couple reasons companies want "waste" thrown out.

One reason, which someone mentioned, is because if someone get sick & sues, the "good will" will end up cost a lot.

Second--and this one I think is ridiculous--is because they don't want employees to be encouraged to "make too much" on purpose, so that there is leftover food for the employees to eat for free.

Date Posted: 4/15/2009 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,290
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Melissa is right!  I worked in a bakery in high school and at the end of the day if the items were not sold then we had to throw them away.  The owners did not want to take a chance of someone getting sick and getting sued.  Say that person had some free food from the restaurant and didn't store it properly (maybe left it sitting out on the counter).  If they then ate that food and became seriously ill then the restaurant would then become responsible even though the person did not store the food properly. 


Date Posted: 4/15/2009 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2008
Posts: 626
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Weird how times have changed...I remember my Dad telling me about working in a restaurant when he was a kid and the managers used to let all the employees have the fries at the end of the day...

Too bad it doesn't happen anymore, but Aaron hit the nail on the head.... we have become such a "lawsuit-happy" nation that everyone companies have to be concerned about that one person who would take advantage of the system and sue for whatever they could come up with. 

Date Posted: 4/15/2009 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2008
Posts: 958
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I worked in a hotel that did donate the leftover food to an organization that left us containers. On Sunday afternoon we would fill the containers and they would pick them up. All of this went through lawyers and releases were signed. I still work in food service and all the places I have worked at are not willing to do something similar. I also have heard the excuse that employees would purposely make too much food. I don't think so.


Date Posted: 4/15/2009 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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Back when Pizza Hut was mostly company stores, they did donate leftover pizzas from the buffett to a place called Harvest Pantry (if memory serves me correctly.) They gave us containers, we filled them, then weighed them. Both parties had to sign a sheet saying how many pounds of food we were donating, plus a liability release on every single pick up. PH wrote it off, and hungry people ate pizza. Win / Win all around. 

Date Posted: 4/15/2009 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Marcy- My hubby used to work for PH many years ago ( 10 years maybe) and he managed one of the delievery only type places. Several times people would order and then not pick them up or refused to pay so there was pizza left.  They would also give away those pizzas to a certain place.

I find it very sad the amount of food that is wasted each day.  I would be happy to wait an extra 5mins to get a burger if they needed to cook it on the spot. 

The Long John Silvers I go to makes everything on the spot so they do not have leftovers.

And yes teh country is wayyyy to sue-happy when something goes wrong. I know shelters around my area will not take home cooked food as donations just in case someone gets sick.

Date Posted: 4/16/2009 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2005
Posts: 4,580
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I've worked for companies where we've way over ordered for parties & big meetings and had to trash the food because of the risk of lawsuit it couldn't be given to a nearby group home or shelter.  Most shlters won't even take donated food now because of this same reason because they dont want to be held responsible for serving spoiled food.

Date Posted: 4/18/2009 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2009
Posts: 13
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Not just the restaurants wasting food either...  I work on call in the kitchen at a high school.  It's pretty disgusting to see what we have to toss into the food disposal every day, especially on Fridays since none of it can be held over the weekend.  I'm not talking about just regular "hot lunch" either.  We have two hot lunch choices plus a salad bar, plus a whole other lunch line of a la carte items.   (It makes me especially upset to see this when the schools are always talking about how they are struggling financially, though that's another story.)

Date Posted: 4/19/2009 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 862
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The schools throw away a lot of uneaten food but our school came up with a plan.  They contacted a local pig farmer who comes each day to collect the slops.  Now the pigs are happy and the kids are too! The students really became diligent about sorting the wrappers from the food and emptying their milk boxes in a separate container too.  Everyone seems to be happy especially the pigs!


Date Posted: 4/23/2009 2:18 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 818
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I agree that it is terrible how much food gets thrown away every day! I work at a restaurant too and we throw away tons of potatoes every day. We also throw away sandwiches and a whole lot of bacon. I feel terrible every time I have to throw away these food items, knowing that there are people who would love to have even a tiny bit of the food.

Related story- My uncle used to be a manager at Mcdonalds and he noticed that homeless people were digging through the trash at night to get the food they threw away, so to make life easier for them he simply placed all the food they had to throw away on the top of the trashcan. The powers that be told him that if he was ever caught doing that again he would be fired. He refused to force the homeless people to dig through the garbage for their food and YEP! he got fired. I think it is ridiculous that there are so many people now willing to file lawsuits for the dumbest things that we can't even help the homeless and hungry!!!


Date Posted: 4/23/2009 2:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 818
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Pamela, I just read your post and that reminds me of what we did at my old Girl Scout camp. We would throw all the scraps into a bowl like you said and the pigs would get to eat it. It's not feeding homeless people, but it's not as wasteful!


Date Posted: 4/30/2009 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2006
Posts: 249
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Our local hospital and a few other restaurants donate to our community homeless dinner's place, Foundation Dinners. I would assume they sign wavers, but I don't know. I DO know that the hospital insists that NO leftovers leave the building after serving dinner, though. So, if they aren't eaten at Foundation Dinners, they still get thrown away. At least there is one more opportunity to eat them before being disposed of.

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2005
Posts: 404
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I have known about this for years and it is indeed sad isn't it?  You know darn well that if they gave it out someone would try to sue them for passing out tainted food.

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 55
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There's a chain here that started locally and since has gone national. It began as St Louis Bread Co but is now called Panera Bread, at least in other cities.

They used to sell their bread for half price at the end of the day, but then began giving it away instead through something called DoughNation. They still do that.

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 192
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It seems like a simple signing of a waver would be a easy way to solve the problem, if you could get the food places to cooperate. 

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 4:07 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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That's really terrible.  NY State has Good Samaritan Laws that limit liability and allow wonderful organizations like City Harvest to pick up leftovers from pretty much everywhere.  If you walk around NYC late at night you see the white City Harvest trucks picking up food from everywhere from KFC to Le Bernadin.  I would think other cities and communities could do something similar.

ETA - http://www.cityharvest.org/home.aspx?pg=27

Last Edited on: 5/26/09 4:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1