Food Waste In Australia

According to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water & Environment, each year roughly 7.3 million tons of food waste in Australia, costing the economy $20 billion and adding more than 5% to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. (Ref:

Food waste in such high numbers is seriously damaging to any restaurant’s bottom line and as chefs and kitchen managers know, throwing away food is no different than throwing away money. It is estimated that, in the average restaurant, a staggering 4% to 10% of purchased food is thrown away before even reaching the customer’s plate. (Ref:

Factors Responsible For Food Waste

So just what exactly is responsible for all of this food spoilage? Many factors contribute to food spoilage including:

  • improper storage
  • over-buying
  • poor menu planning
  • date and label confusion, and
  • improper cold room temperatures.

What Causes Food Spoilage?

These factors may seem unrelated. However, if you look closely, they all share something in common: In the end, bacteria formation is responsible for all food spoilage.

Unseen to the human eye, these food-spoiling microorganisms form and multiply on the surfaces of meat and produce, effectively destroying it and making it unsuitable for distribution. Common methods of preservation, such as cold storage and freezing are great for slowing down this process but they don’t stop it.

The only sure-fire way to stop bacteria from forming and multiplying is through the use of an ultraviolet germicidal disinfection unit.

Let’s take a closer look at how this technology prevents food spoilage, leading to increased shelf life and massive annual savings.

All perishables – raw and cooked – contain microscopic organisms that commence to grow and multiply leading to food spoilage. Even the most modern refrigeration facilities are only capable of slowing down this process. Over a short period of time, millions of microscopic organisms begin to appear, breaking down and spoiling your product, right under your eyes in the cold rooms that were created to protect them.  

How Does Ultraviolet Food Sterilization Work?

In simple terms, through a physical process, unlike chemical approaches, ultraviolet germicidal disinfection technology effectively disables the reproductive capabilities of food spoiling microorganisms. In other words, bacteria, viruses and food spoiling protozoa are rendered incapable of reproducing and spoiling food when exposed to the germicidal wavelengths of UV light.

Short wavelengths of UV light — primarily at 254 nanometers — have been proven to be a leading solution in the preservation of food, neutralizing up to 99.99% of dangerous pathogens and viruses commonly found on the surfaces of meat and produce.

How Does UV Light Prevent Food Spoilage In Cold Storage Rooms?

When installed in your cold room, a UV germicidal cold room system — like the GF600IM — effectively destroys bacteria, mould and slime-forming microscopic organisms on both the surface of perishables and throughout the surrounding air in the cold room. Spoilage and deterioration is prevented due to the circulation of disinfected air.

A cold room on its own is one way to slow down food spoilage, but when fitted with a UV disinfection system, like the ones found here, you virtually double the shelf life of your product. In other words: a cold room slows down bacteria growth and multiplication, but UV light stops bacteria reproduction in its tracks, protecting your product and the cold room itself.

You see, cold rooms have a tendency to gather moisture on their cooling coils. As these coils heat up during operation, bacteria growth is encouraged. Notoriously hard to reach and clean, these coils encourage the incubation of bacteria and harmful airborne spores to multiply and spread throughout your cold room.

Ultra Violet Product’s (UVP) UV systems are designed to eliminate bacteria, spores and viruses in mere seconds and work hard to keep your cooling coils free from bacteria and mould build-up.

For a low cost, UVP air and surface disinfection products, such as the GF600IM, can easily be installed in your existing cold room to effectively kill bacteria and prevent mould and mildew from forming, while simultaneously extending storage life and prevent cross-flavouring. Other benefits of UV food sterilization include:

  • Reduced waste due to trimming
  • Sticky, slimy surfaces on meat, walls, floors and shelves are reduced
  • Unpleasant odours are eliminated
  • Meats retain their juices, which leads to reduced shrinkage

Cost Advantages Of Installing Ultraviolet Germicidal Disinfection Units

Aside from virtually doubling the shelf life of your product, there are many additional benefits to installing a UV germicidal disinfection unit. Take a quick look at some of these benefits, including:

  • Electrical consumption and an annual lamp replacement comprise the entire operating costs of UV disinfection units
  • No long-term costs like you would find associated with the transportation, purchase and delivery of disinfectants
  • Manual cleaning and labour costs are reduced with a UV germicidal disinfection unit
  • Servicing and replacement of costly cooling coils are virtually eliminated

What Other Benefits Are There To Installing A UV System In Your Cold Room?

There are plenty of additional advantages including:

Odour elimination: Unpleasant odours will quickly become a thing of the past by installing ozone-producing UV lamps, which work to eliminate sour smells within minutes of installation.

Sticky, slimy and mouldy surfaces are vastly reduced: UV disinfection effectively eliminates mould and slime forming bacteria growth on the surfaces of perishables, such as meat products and produce, both raw and cooked. It also protects the ceiling, walls and shelves of your cold room.

Does UV Disinfection Prevent The Spoilage Of All Food Products?

Absolutely! Because UV lamps eliminate viruses such as E.Coli and salmonella, they can be used to prevent the spoiling of many perishable foods and are used in many food industries, such as:

Meat, fish and poultry:

Meat processing and packing facilities frequently use UV technology to sterilize conveyor belts, containers and meat packing areas.


UV disinfection has been proven to be highly effective in the preservation of dairy products, ensuring they remain free from harmful bacteria.


Popular in the beverage industry, UV germicidal lamps are commonly used to improve the quality of bottled water and juices.

Liquid sugar tanks:

UV light is commonly used to preserve liquid sugars such as high fructose corn syrup and other common sweeteners by sterilizing the containers and tanks in which they are often stored.

Frozen foods:

By exposing food to UV light prior to freezing, any potentially harmful microorganisms will be destroyed, improving the quality and shelf life of many frozen food items.


Mould spores are a big contributor to food waste in the baking industry. A UV disinfection system will ensure mould doesn’t even get the chance to form.

Fruits and vegetables:

Treating pre-packaged fruits and vegetables with UV light prolongs their shelf life, reducing spoilage and eliminating insect growth.

Bacteria Is Everywhere. Can It Really Damage My Business?

Yes. Check out some of these shocking facts that can have negative repercussions on your customer’s health and your business, such as:

  • Increased likelihood for the spread of harmful pathogens and diseases including Salmonella and E-Coli
  • Contaminated work surfaces, food and beverages
  • Prevents damaging your business reputation due to public health issues caused by contamination
  • Failure to meet the standards of health and safety legislation, leading to hefty fines

I Manage A Hotel; Can UV Disinfection Be Used Outside Of Cold Rooms?

Absolutely. UV disinfection can be used throughout your hotel to kill germs in many situations. Additionally, consider using UV technology for the following purposes:

  • Television remotes, alarm clocks and telephones: Sanitizing wipes are not cheap and they only get the job partially done. By placing frequently held objects in the path of UV light, germs and bacteria will be instantly killed, leaving your guests feeling clean and confident.
  • Food Preparation areas: Besides cold rooms, UV technology can be used to sanitize pantries, kitchens and food storage areas, killing germs with efficiency unmatched by soapy water and bleach. Use ultraviolet germicidal disinfection units to disinfect your knives, cutting boards, sinks, shelves and cookware.
  • Pillows and blankets: Even though the linens have been properly washed, it is not uncommon for beds and mattresses to harbour multitudes of harmful bacteria. Here at Ultra Violet Products Australia, we have a wide range of UV sterilization options that are designed specifically for this purpose. Check out our UV surface and air systems here.
  • Fitness centers: Recent studies have found that it is not uncommon for gym equipment to harbour more than 1,000,000 germs per square inch. Did you know that unpleasant gym odours are not the product of sweat per se, but due to the bacterium that grows as a result of it? Installing UV germicidal disinfection units will stop bacteria before it even has a chance to grow. (Ref:
  • Leverage higher premiums: A recent study found that hotels that incorporate additional disinfection protocols experienced an increase in guest satisfaction, occupancy rates and/or higher premiums. (Ref:

UV Air And Surface Disinfecting Products

Click here, to take a look at our vast catalogue of UV air and surface disinfecting products to cover every aspect of the food and hospitality industry.

The team at UVP hope you now have a better understanding of the benefits of ultra violet germicidal disinfection and how it works. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here, for any additional inquiries or to place an order.