Flare wrote:but I am also sure there is a issue of health and safety regarding handing out foodstuffs slated for disposal on the basis that if its no good for sale then surely its no good to give to people to eat.
They throw out good stuff all the time. Eggs are the most wasted product supermarkets throw away, If a single egg is cracked or broken they'll often just bin the entire carton cause people always check for broken/cracked eggs and won't buy them. Thousands of them are discarded just from transport alone and don't even make it into the supermarket. Others are damaged by staff and customers.
Stuff is usually thrown if there's anything wrong with the packaging too like the outer packaging of a multi pack of crisps, they can't be sold as singles so they just get dumped, that can apply to dozens of different products that have multi packs or packaging surrounding individual items. Dented cans is another one, usually thrown away even if food/drink inside is still sealed and good to eat/drink.
There was a program about this on BBC not to long ago where ordinary people were literally doing there weekly shop inside the waste bins taking hundreds of pounds of perfectly good stuff, still in date and still sealed/fresh. They waste something like 200,000 tonnes a year. Supermarkets would lose quite a bit of cash if people were just allowed to take all of the stuff they throw away for free instead of going into the stores to spend money.