A NEW food refrigeration logo designed by an Oxfordshire anti-waste charity has been recommended for use to food producers and supermarkets across the country.

The tiny blue fridge symbol created by The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is proposed in a report published yesterday in association with the Food Standards Agency and DEFRA.

The symbol aims to remind buyers that even if the item they buy in the shop is not in a refrigerator section, it could last longer kept in the fridge.

Ian Palmer, a spokesman for the Banbury-based charity, said: "We've done research which shows if you complement written advice with a snowflake picture on the front, that food is more likely to end up in the freezer.

"We are hoping the same thing would happen with the fridge logo."

The charity said its own research shows that 75 per cent of people in the UK do not keep apples in the fridge, even though they would last longer.

Environment minister Thérèse Coffey yesterday urged businesses to take heed of WRAP's guidance and consider using the logo.

She said: “We know that confusing labels can contribute to food waste by suggesting that edible items need to be thrown away sooner than is necessary.

“This new guidance will make packaging much clearer for consumers, saving them money and reducing waste.

“I encourage all food businesses, large and small, to use this guidance to help them put the right date mark on food and help to guide people on the refrigeration and freezing of products which are crucial to reducing the amount of edible food thrown away.”