Brits throw out worth £7.7 billion of out-of-date food every year, a study has revealed.
Each month, the average adult throws away food worth £13.30 – or a total of £159.60 a year – because they haven’t got around to eating it before it goes past its use-by date.
Across the country, that means a staggering £7,660,800,000 of food is ending up in the bin – with yoghurts, sandwich meat and lettuce the most commons things to throw away.
Milk, cucumbers and bread also regularly get left to go off.
But more than one in ten Brits have been ill after eating food that had gone past its best, while almost one in 20 have even ended up in hospital.
A spokesman for Beko, which carried out the poll to launch its new four-door fridge freezer said: ”When you throw away the odd potato or piece of fruit here and there, it might not seem like a lot.
”But when you add it up over the period of a few months or a year, the food you are throwing in the bin accounts for a big chunk of your cash.
”Special offers in the supermarkets can often make it seem cheaper to buy things in bulk, but this only works if you are going to eat it before it goes off.
”And there is nothing worse than opening your fridge doors to the smell of gone-off food.”
The poll of 3,000 Brits also revealed that 15 per cent never eat food once it has gone past its use-by date
And 85 per cent of people regularly have to go through their fridge and cupboards to get rid of all of the out-of-date food.
But 11 per cent admitted they have sometimes found things a year past their use-by date, while seven per cent even owned up to keeping items of food for three years longer than they should.
A quarter even said they would happily eat food that had gone past its use-by date as long as it looked and smelt OK.
Researchers found that each month, the average Brit throws away half a pack of uncooked meat such as chicken breast or mince, along with two slices of cooked meat.
A third of a pint of milk gets tipped down the sink each month, while two yoghurts, three slices of bread and half a lettuce end up in the bin.
We also throw away seven pieces of fruit, four vegetables and one salad item.
But while 21 per cent say they simply don’t have time to eat the food before it goes off, 41 per cent claim they forgot the food was there while 15 per cent say there is too much in one packet.
And almost two thirds worry about the amount of uneaten or unused food that they end up throwing in the bin each week.
A spokesman for Beko added: ”The brand new Beko Four-Door Fridge Freezer is ideal for large families and features the latest technology to help keep food as fresh as possible, limiting the food wastage in these difficult economic times.
“Often new food is placed in the front of the fridge pushing the older items to the back where they get forgotten as they are not visible. The fridge compartment of this new model has wide shelves and storage where items can easily be viewed and rotated with plenty of space to view.
“In a first for Beko, this model includes blue light technology which allows fruit and vegetables to continue photosynthesis to leave them fresher and juicier for longer. The two chiller compartments, on easy sliding runners, are also perfect for storing fresh and cooked meat and fish at a stable temperature so that the texture, nutritional values and life is prolonged.”
Top ten foods most commonly thrown out
2. Sandwich meat
9. Uncooked meat
10. Jars of sauces