Real Junk Food Project

Real Junk Food Project vounteers

A café chain serving surplus stock is under investigation for redistributing out-of-date food.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards says it uncovered 444 items past their use-by date at the Leeds HQ of the Real Junk Food Project, which operates 127 cafés across seven countries. Cumulatively they say these products were 6,345 days beyond their legal expiry date.

Founder Adam Smith has now been invited to attend a formal interview with Trading Standards officers and could face prosecution if found in breach of laws that forbid the sale or redistribution of products beyond their use-by date.

Smith told the BBC he was feeling “quite positive” about the investigation. “We’ve fed over one million people worldwide with food that’s expired and still to this day no one has ever been sick. So we can prove we can make this food safe for human consumption,” he said.

He added he hoped the move could spark a debate around legislation in this area.

Set up in 2013, the project redistributes and cooks surplus food provided by restaurants, cafés and catered events.