Presentation of a Validated Checklist as a Tool for Assessing, Preventing and Managing Food Waste in Foodservices

Food and Nutrition Sciences
Vol.06 No.11(2015), Article ID:58773,6 pages
10.4236/fns.2015.611102

Presentation of a Validated Checklist as a Tool for Assessing, Preventing and Managing Food Waste in Foodservices

Tânia Regina Kinasz1, Regina Baptista Reis1, Tania Beninga Morais2*

1Departament of Food and Nutrition, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, Brazil

2Postgraduate Programme in Nutrition, Food Quality Control Laboratory, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Email: trkinasz@hotmail.com, nutricao@ufmt.br, *tania.pnut@epm.br

Copyright © 2015 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Received 7 July 2015; accepted 8 August 2015; published 13 August 2015

ABSTRACT

More researches are needed to identify the relevant factors influencing the generation of food waste and devise preventive strategies. The objective of this study is to develop a checklist to assess the good management practices that have a positive impact on eliminating or minimizing food waste in food service units. A theoretical list of relevant factors impacting the generation of food waste during meal production is developed, taking into account administrative planning, receipt and storage of foods, and the preparation and distribution of meals by food service units. For each factor, several administrative and/or technical actions are identified. To validate the content, this list is submitted to a ten-member expert panel for a final evaluation. The factor (and its respective actions) is considered relevant if 80% of the expert panel members agree on its relevance. All actions employ a dichotomous response of Yes/No. Affirmative responses are expected because these actions are considered to be good management practices that have a positive impact on eliminating or minimizing food waste. Following the panel approval process, a checklist of 12 factors and 102 actions is detailed. The conceptual structure of the checklist for food waste management presented in this study enables a comprehensive understanding of the factors that impact food waste, providing a theoretical basis for future research into the relative importance of the relevant factors and actions identified in this study.

Keywords:

Food Services, Checklist, Food Wastefulness, Waste Management

1. Introduction

Despite bringing increased prosperity to more people, the economic development of the last few decades has produced ecological imbalances, such as climate change and the thinning of the ozone layer. These consequences have led to the creation of a new concept: sustainable development. Over the last two decades, public opinion has become increasingly aware, demanding measures to protect the environment from both economic agents and the government. The generation of solid waste is a natural consequence of human life. Among solid waste, food waste forms the major component in municipal landfills [1] [2] . In addition to ethical issues, wasting edible food has negative economic, environmental and social impacts [3] . Though foodservices are in a unique position to manage food waste, no studies have been reported in the literature during recent years on the causes of food waste within this stage of the food supply chain. The studies on food waste have focused on measuring plate waste (food served in the plate and not consumed) and overproduction (food prepared and not served) [4] - [9] . However, reasons behind why these wastes occur were not investigated. More researches are therefore needed to identify the relevant factors influencing the generation of food waste and devise preventive strategies. The objective of this study is to develop a checklist to assess good management practices that have a positive impact on eliminating or minimizing food waste in institutional food service units.

2. Methods

Theoretical framework used in the development and validation of psychological assessment instruments [10] was applied to develop a checklist of relevant factors in the generation of food waste in foodservices. Based on the literature [4] -[9] and in the authors’ experience, a theoretical list of relevant factors impacting the generation of food waste during meal production was developed, taking into account administrative planning, the receipt and storage of foods, and the preparation and distribution of meals in food service units. For each factor, a number of administrative and/or technical items were identified. The formulation of items took into account the criteria of behavior (expressing an action); simplicity (being limited to a single action); clarity (being intelligible); relevance (being pertinent to what the item is supposed to measure) and modality (being formulated to avoid extreme expressions). To validate the content, this list was submitted to a ten-member expert panel for a final evaluation [10] . Seven members were faculty, each with at least ten years academic and scientific experience in the field, and three members were nutritionists with at least five years of experience managing food service units. They analyzed the coherence of the items and their relevance to what was being measured, accordingly to their expertise. The factor (and its respective items) was considered relevant when 80% of the expert panel members agreed on its relevance [11] .

Following the panel approval process, a checklist of 12 factors and 102 actions was detailed. All actions employ a dichotomous response of Yes/No. Affirmative responses are expected because these actions are considered to be good management practices that have a positive impact on eliminating or minimizing food waste. These actions should be assessed by systematic observation and by consulting administrative records. The Kuder Richardson Coefficient (K-R 20) for binary measurements was used to test the checklist reliability [12] . The result was 0.971, indicating a homogenous set of data [13] . The package Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 19.0 for Windows was used for this analysis. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo.

3. Results

Table 1 to Table 12 present the 102 actions of the 12 factors that are relevant to food waste in institutional food service units that are approved by the expert panel.

4. Discussion

Institutional foodservices should surpass standard sustainable strategies, such as using resources efficiently, collecting materials for recycling and reusing, and composting food waste [14] . Understanding how food waste occurs and identifying its main sources will allow food service managers to act preventively. Thus, the scope of this study is to develop a comprehensive and a content validated checklist in the topic of food waste with a preventive, practical approach, focusing on actions toward elimination or minimization of food waste in order to

Table 1. Actions for the factor “Knowing the profile of the patrons improves the quality and quantity of meals and contributes toward preventing food waste”.

Table 2. Actions for the factor “Careful menu planning contributes toward preventing food waste”.

Table 3. Actions for the factor “Careful menu execution contributes toward preventing food waste”.

Table 4. Actions for the factor “Proper practices during the distribution of meals contribute toward preventing food waste”.

Table 5. Actions for the factor “Pleasant dining area ambience contributes toward preventing food waste”.

Table 6. Actions for the factor “Applying good food handling practices and standard operating procedures manuals, besides improving food safety, contribute toward preventing food waste by spoilage”.

Table 7. Actions for the factor “Proper human resources management contributes toward preventing food waste”.

Table 8. Actions for the factor “The dietetic professional’s good management practices and work supervision contribute toward preventing food waste”.

Table 9. Actions for the factor “Good management practices during purchasing and receipt contribute toward preventing food waste”.

Table 10. Actions for the factor “Good management practices during storage and in the inventory control of foods contribute toward preventing food waste”.

Table 11. Actions for the factor “Having a waste management plan contributes toward preventing food waste”.

Table 12. Actions for the factor “Proper working conditions prevent errors and accidents, contributing toward minimizing food waste”.

help foodservices managers in the managing of food waste. In our knowledge, this is a new and innovative checklist.

The lack of studies in identifying the main sources of food waste and why they occur prevents providing references related to the connections between the factors identified in this study and food waste. This fact shows that the many gaps in the knowledge existing in this subject need to be addressed. The main limitation of this study is the lack of testing in a “real world” situation. However, instead, the aim of this study is to provide to foodservices managers and researchers in this field a validated tool to support further studies.

In conclusion, the conceptual structure of the checklist on food waste management presented in this study enables a comprehensive understanding of the factors impacting food waste and forms a theoretical basis for future research into the relative importance of each relevant factor and its corresponding actions identified in this study.

Acknowledgements

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. The authors state that there are no conflicts of interest. T.R.K. participated in conception and design of the study, in acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data, and in drafting the manuscript; R.B.R. participated in conception and design of the study; T.B.M. participated in conception and design of the study, in analysis and interpretation of data, and in revising the manuscript, and has given final approval for this version to be published. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Cite this paper

Tânia ReginaKinasz,Regina BaptistaReis,Tania BeningaMorais, (2015) Presentation of a Validated Checklist as a Tool for Assessing, Preventing and Managing Food Waste in Foodservices. Food and Nutrition Sciences,06,985-991. doi: 10.4236/fns.2015.611102

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NOTES

*Corresponding author.