The objective of the research study was to assess the behaviour of older consumers towards the occurrence of food waste and the awareness of information placed on food packaging. The questionnaire surveys were carried out using a CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview) technique. A total of 1115 respondents participated in the surveys, of which 51.1 % were women and 48.9 % were men. A group of people aged 60+ constituted 27.4 % of the consumers surveyed (n = 305). The questionnaire comprised questions on six thematic facets: 1) structure of food wasted in households, 2) general awareness of the occurrence of food waste and sources of information about it, 3) consumption of food after the date of minimum durability, 4) meaning of the “best before…” phrase, 5) indicating the difference between the meanings of the “best before…” and “used by…” phrases, 6) indicating products labelled as “best before…”. Based on the surveys it was found that the people aged 60+ had a basic knowledge in the field of food waste and their knowledge did not significantly differ from that of the rest of the olish society. Elderly people state they discard food products less frequently compared to the other age groups. All the respondents surveyed, including the elderly, are confused when being asked about their understanding of the “best before…” and “use by…” terms and in the situation they have to distinguish between non-perishable and perishable food products. The results obtained indicate the reasonableness of the research undertaken and the need to continue it in order to fully understand the behaviour of consumers, including elderly people, who contribute to food waste. It is justified to recommend the pursuing of active public policy and educational campaigns on food management at the level of the final consumer.
food waste, elderly people, date of minimum durability, questionnaire surveys