Emlyn Mousley has set up a social media group called Markdown Addicts Nottingham, which encourages people to post photos and details of items in the reduced sections of local supermarkets.
Mr Mousley said it was a simple idea which he hoped would help families struggling with rising food prices. “Everyone likes a good bargain, so why not share the knowledge?” he said. Mr Mousley, 45, a former builder who now works in marketing, set up the Facebook group a month ago and already has more than 200 followers.
He said he had made significant savings by shopping in the reduced sections of food stores.
“If it’s just going out of date, and it’s half price, then buy it and bang it straight in the freezer,” he said. “I’ve always been a bit of a wheeler-dealer. “I think everyone likes a good bargain and if I can share details of heavily discounted items that will benefit others, that’s great.
“My family isn’t rolling in it, we’ve got kids, and bills and we don’t have a massive food budget so if I can find something half price, why not?” He said some of his best bargains had included duck breasts, which were marked down from £13 to £3. “We’re not the kind of people to buy duck breasts but we’re going to learn how to cook them,” he said.
“You can often pay just 10p for a pack of veggies like carrots or turnips and these can be made into soups or stews.
“Some people are on really low incomes and they may only have £5-10 to spend on food that week.
“If I can quickly share information about the location of a local supermarket shelf where they can feed their family on reduced items for a week, and stop that food going to waste, that’s hopefully a really good thing.
“It’s important not to be greedy and take all the deals for yourself. The more people we encourage to use the group, the more people will benefit from it.” Sue Anderson, head of media at StepChange, a debt counselling charity, said: “With the recent news that inflation has now reached 11%, over the past several months we’ve seen the price of our food shop rise steeply.
“However, with many households’ incomes not rising at the same pace, people have had to carefully consider their spending and explore all the ways they can save money when buying essentials.
“For anyone struggling to manage the cost of their food shop and other essential bills, the first step we’d suggest is to make a budget to get a clear picture of your finances, understand your income and expenditure, and identify how much you have available per month for your food shop.” She added that if people were worried they did not have enough to cover their essentials, charities such as StepChange could offer advice.
England and Wales are to ease the rules temporarily on defrosted poultry meat because of the impact of bird flu. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is advising consumers buying turkey, duck, capon, or goose products that they may have been previously frozen and defrosted before being sold as chilled.
The United Kingdom is dealing with its worst bird flu outbreak ever with more than 200 cases confirmed in the past 12 months. Bird flu poses a very low food safety risk for consumers, but can occasionally make people sick. Measures mean that farmers who breed turkeys, geese, or ducks for their meat will have the option to slaughter flocks early and freeze these products, which can then be defrosted and sold to the public.
In the EU, defrosted previously-frozen poultry meat, including turkey, is not allowed for sale. In England and Wales, products should be labeled as defrosted and are suitable for home freezing if it says so on the label. The temporary change applies from Nov. 28 to Dec. 31, 2022, and does not cover chicken.
Narriman Looch, head of foodborne disease control at the FSA, said the defrosted products will be safe to eat as long as consumers follow instructions on the label and practice good food hygiene. “This is different from our usual advice of not refreezing raw meat thawed at home as the food industry has specialist equipment to very quickly freeze, then defrost these products in controlled conditions. Home freezers are less efficient so defrosting and refreezing raw meat at home could allow the growth of harmful germs.”
The change does not apply to products sold in Northern Ireland due to the NI Protocol. “By killing birds a bit earlier and freezing them, these products can be defrosted and sold in the run-up to Christmas without worries about the impact of avian flu on supply,” said Andrea Martinez-Inchausti, deputy director for food at the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
EU rules require poultry meat to be in one of three states: fresh (not previously frozen), frozen, or quick-frozen. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said businesses in the country should be aware that EU regulations have not changed, despite the temporary England and Wales allowance. Production and/or marketing of poultry meat in a defrosted state remains prohibited in all EU member states and Northern Ireland.
The agency asked importers, retailers, distributors, and producers to be extra vigilant to poultry meat marketing standards in their operations for the 2022 Christmas period. Examples of operations that are not allowed in Ireland include imports of defrosted poultry meat, placing it on the market, and producing defrosted poultry meat.