The meat we do not eat. A survey of meat waste in German hospitality and food service businesses
Food waste is a global challenge. Detailed information on quantities and drivers is needed to provide tailored recommendations for prevention measures. Current studies on meat waste in the Hospitality and Food Service business (HaFS) sector are rare, often based on small sample sizes, and seldom use comparable reference units. The present study reports meat and meat product waste in the German HaFS business sector based on structured telephone interviews. Purchased freshmeat and meat product quantities, as well as waste during storage, due to preparation and leftovers, are captured for four different market segments. Waste ratios referring to weekly meat purchases are analysed and compared between these segments, as well as on the business-type level. In this context, the authors distinguish total and avoidable meat waste. Absolute meat waste volumes are extrapolated on a weighted base for the entire German HaFS sector. Factors influencing meat waste are identified through regression analysis in order to derive possible food waste prevention measures. The results are discussed to provide recommendations for future national monitoring, policy instruments and research.