Food poisoning cases could decrease in next two years
In the next two years the UK could see a significant decrease in food poisoning compensation claims due to a new type of packaging being developed in Glasgow.
Strathclyde University researchers, in a £325,000 project funded by the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept Programme are creating a new type of food packaging which will warn people when the food inside is losing its freshness, and when it has gone off.
The food freshness indicators are being made from what are called "intelligent plastics", and will change colour to show whether the food contained within is still edible without posing a risk to the individual ingesting it.
Not only does the research group hope that the packaging will help reduce the estimated 8.3 million tonnes of food wasted every year in the UK, it also hopes that with the introduction of the packaging will come fewer cases of food poisoning, of which there are roughly one million cases every year.
Freshness indicators are already included in some packaging in the UK, in the shape of labels, but are expensive to insert. The Glasgow team's indicator will be part of the packaging itself, and, as a result, will be cheaper to produce.
Shoppers may see the new packaging in the shops within two years. At the same time the UK could see a reduction in food waste and compensation claims for food poisoning, as both households and restaurants will be able to use the indicator to implement health and safety in their kitchens and use the indicator, rather than the use-by-date, to monitor the contents of their fridge.