A viral TikTok from a Dunkin Donuts employee shows just how much food waste the restaurant creates when closing each night. The regulations and rules surrounding food prep have created an environment where giving away food is illegal, meaning it needs to be discarded into the trash.
Dunkin is just like many other food chains and groceries that discard food and produce into trashcans and dumpsters all across the globe. Two separate Dunkin employee videos have made the rounds, confirming the company policy. The latest video shows sheets of donuts being tossed in the garbage.
According to The Daily Dot, a Reddit thread that provided a spotlight on the issue offered other examples of food waste at restaurants. This includes ways some restaurants skirt the rules or donate the food elsewhere.
"I worked at Starbucks and the same thing happened," one Reddit user wrote. "We used to throw away a shit ton at Starbucks, we're talking about sandwiches, lunchboxes, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, etc. Like a garbage bag or even two full some nights. I knew someone who got fired because the Store Manager was encouraging taking food home as most Baristas were broke students, but the District Manager found out and terminated them. Big food corporations suck on so many levels."
Liability and lawsuits are why many restaurants adhere to guidelines and make policies that feed garbage dumps and landfills more than actual human beings. But according to a 2016 report by HuffPost, no lawsuits have ever been filed, and most restaurants are protected by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.
I wish all major food places did this because there's always a bunch of leftovers they toss away, while there people out begging for a bite. Why waste all that food 😑— My🤍 (@m3y3la) May 23, 2021
"As long as no one has acted in a totally reckless or deliberately destructive manner, lawyers are not interested in sticking it to people who make sure the needy do not starve," Nicole Civita, a professor at University of Arkansas School of Law wrote. "What is more, the very people who depend on donated food – the potential plaintiffs – hesitate to bite the hands that feed them." Civita is also the director of the Food Recovery Project, which highlights the practices by these businesses and how it affects those who go without food on the streets.
The Daily Dot adds that restaurants account for 18 percent of food waste, two to four times wasted by grocery stores, supercenters and wholesale distributors put together. They also source the Natural Resources Defense Council in adding that 40 percent of food in the United States is never eaten. Meanwhile, people are diving into the trash or the dumpsters to pull out the food being discarded.