Foodservice is estimated to produce 12% of the total food waste in Europe, and it is a major target for policies against food waste. The amount of food lost during foodservice operations has been assessed in the literature as a figure ranging from 10% to 41% of the quantity prepared in the kitchen, either as non-served food or as plate waste. In this paper, a systematization of the current initiatives against food waste in EU school foodservice is provided. This background is used as a base to discuss the results of a direct assessment of food waste conducted in 78 primary schools in Italy, where 28.6% of the food prepared was not consumed by the diners. Part of it was saved for reuse, while the rest was disposed and treated as organic waste or, to a lesser extent, as unsorted waste. The flows of food waste, represented by a Sankey diagram, show that some actions may be implemented in order to save more food from disposal; for example, implementing donation programmes for non-served food or using doggy bags to avoid the disposal of plate waste. A greater effort shall be put on preventive actions, aimed at avoiding the generation of food waste; in this sense regular monitoring at schools may act as a first preventive measure as it can increase the awareness of students, teachers and foodservice staff over the issue of food waste.
- B. Pancino, C. Cicatiello, L. Falasconi et. al.