Agreement to ensure food safety

OLIO app OLIO app

A ground-breaking partnership has been created that will ensure surplus and unwanted food from shops and cafes in South Derbyshire that is being shared with residents via a smartphone app meets hygiene and safety standards.

The app, OLIO, was made available in Swadlincote as part of the Sainsbury’s Waste less, Save more project last year. It works by allowing neighbours, friends, cafes, shops and restaurants to share surplus or unwanted food by posting pictures of it and inviting each other to collect what might otherwise have been binned.

The ‘commercial team’ at South Derbyshire District Council (SDDC) was keen to ensure that the food involved was shared safely and contact was made with OLIO. The relationship between the food team and London-based OLIO grew, leading to the creation of the partnership which has now been ratified by the Secretary of State.

Matt Holford, SDDC environmental health manager, said: “Food safety has been a fundamental area of environmental health for years, and our commercial team (food safety) is ideally placed to actively help organisations reduce food waste by sharing their surplus food – we can help ensure that it is carried out in a safe way.”

The partnership will offer tailored food safety and hygiene advice and has already gone one step further, with Derbyshire County Council also signing up to a partnership with OLIO. This will deal with food standards issues such as allergens. The agreements will mean OLIO gets advice to cover all aspects of their food sharing.

Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of OLIO, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with South Derbyshire District Council.

“We have worked closely with them to develop a food safety management system to govern our Food Waste Heroes programme. This involves volunteers collecting unsold surplus food from businesses and distributing it to the local community via the app.

“It was important to select a partner who understood our objectives and could help us to develop practical solutions to ensure our volunteers handle, store and share food safely.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the team as our work develops.”

More information about how to get started with OLIO is available. People can also find out more about OLIO on Facebook or by following @OLIO_ex on Twitter.

15 June 2017