Waste Foods

Disposal of Waste Foods: Animal By-Products Regulations 2003

Does your business produce waste food or animal waste? If you are a food retailer, distributor or manufacturer, or a caterer then these regulations may affect you.

Purpose of the Regulations

These Regulations, which came into force on the 1st July 2003, lay down rules for the collection, handling, transport, storage and disposal of animal by-products which include catering waste and former foodstuffs and other animal waste. They aim to control the risks, including disease, to both animals and the public.

Now some products must not be disposed of through the normal waste collection service, and there are rules on:

Catering waste

Catering waste means all waste food (including used cooking oils) originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including domestic kitchens. The disposal of catering waste is only controlled by the Regulations if you are sending it:

All other catering waste can continue to be disposed of to landfill in the normal way. However, you must ensure that the waste is stored in covered leak proof containers to which wild animals and birds cannot gain access. You must also ensure that any commercial waste is disposed of by a registered waste carrier and is not disposed of through the domestic waste collection service.

If the catering operation shares premises with another food activity such as retail, bakery, or butchery then the non-catering waste must be disposed of as set out below.

Waste Food originating from retailers, distributors, wholesalers, manufacturers

The following two categories of food products fall into the lowest category of animal by-product waste, which is Category 3, and so must be disposed of in accordance with the above Regulations.

What must I do with waste food that cannot go to landfill?

What about 'Sale or Return' foods?

You can continue your normal practices with your supplier. However you cannot use them to dispose of other former foodstuffs (e.g. out of date / damaged canned or dried meat products); they should be collected by a Licensed Carrier, as detailed above.

Do I have to empty food from its packaging before it is collected?

You should check with your Licensed Collector that they will accept waste animal by-products in its packaging. If they will not, then packaging must be properly emptied before the Category 3 Materials is collected by the Licensed Carrier and the empty packaging is then sent to landfill. Packaging can still be sent to landfill if it contains catering waste.

Where can I get a list of Approved Carriers?

Details of Licensed Carriers and Approved Premises to transport and dispose of animal by-product waste can be provided by Northamptonshire Trading Standards Service. A list is also available on the Defra website, or by contacting Defra on 0116 278 7451. You will also find companies in telephone and internet directories under "animal by-products".

This is only a very brief guide to the regulations. More details are available from the Cambridgeshire County Council Trading Standards Service and from the DEFRA website.

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