Measuring Your Food Waste

spoilage accounting

At this point, the only way you can remove them is by recording some type of expense. Ideally, the product will be sold, either on its own or as in ingredient in another product.

If that’s the case, it made you money and the expense is recorded as cost of goods sold. When something spoils or expires before you can sell it, you have to take the expense as a deduction from your net profits. In a double-entry accounting system, you would record a credit to the appropriate inventory account, which will reduce the amount of that item you have on hand.

Its quantum can be evaluated or analyzed at various points of time it can be reduced further if possible by improving the process or technology. In routine accounting abnormal spoilage is reported to managers above the shop floor personnel. Normal spoilage refers to the inherent worsening of products during the production or inventory processes of the sales cycle. This is the deterioration of a firm’s product line that is generally considered to be unavoidable and expected. For commodity producers, this is the natural resource that is lost or destroyed during extraction, transportation, or inventory.

Two species of Pseudomonas, P. fragi and P. putrefaciens are chiefly responsible for the kind of spoilage that occurs in fermented milk products such as butter and cheese. Campylobacter butyricum and Campylobacter sporogenes have also been reported to cause this sort of decomposition.

Material spoilage is often discovered during the inspection and quality control process. In job costing, spoilage can be assigned to specific jobs or units, or can be assigned to all jobs associated with production as part of the overall overhead. Normal spoilage is just that — normal — and is expected in the ordinary course of manufacturing or business operations, especially for companies that make or handle perishable products (i.e. food and beverage). Spoilage beyond what is historically standard or expected is considered abnormal spoilage. Cost accounting practice recommends normal spoilage is specified as part of production process specification.

The firm will include this 2% spoilage rate in with its cost of goods sold (COGS), although the widgets were not actually sold. That is because this amount is the normal and expected rate of spoilage in this firm’s typical course of business.

spoilage accounting

Business owners understand that normal spoilage is an acceptable occurrence during production. However, they should not be left unnoticed because it may indicate a problem. What is best to do is to conduct an assessment or evaluation of the production process in order to correct the steps which need to be addressed, before the spoilage becomes abnormal spoilage. To calculate for normal spoilage, the total finished products must be counted first, then, the spoiled products are determined next. For example, a shoe manufacturing company produces 10,000 pairs a month and 500 of those cannot be sold due to defects or quality control issues.

How Normal Spoilage Works

When, however, the normal spoiled units are used again as raw material in the same manufacturing process, no separate treatment becomes necessary. Food spoilage can be described as the process by which food quality becomes compromised and its edibility significantly reduced. Numerous signs are indicative of food spoilage and they range from changes in the ordinary appearance of the foods, changes in its texture, bad odor and poor taste. Although some spoiled foods may be consumed without causing harm, most of them are toxic in essence and may result in serious health complications. Microorganisms such as bacteria, insect larvae and fungi are responsible for food spoilage.

The COGS is deducted from net sales revenue to arrive at the gross margin, so normal spoilage is accounted for in a product line’s gross margin. Thus the cost accounting system helps in highlighting the abnormal costs of spoilage and rework so that remedial action is taken by the managers concerned.

Spoilage vs. By-products

Therefore, defectives are that portion which can be rectified at some extra cost of re-operation. In cost accounting, scrap is defined as material that’s left over after production. You sell scrap “as is.” No costs are added to scrap before you sell it to someone.

You’ll also record a debit to the spoilage expense account, which will reduce your net profit. Normal spoilage is planned spoilage that management is willing to accept and is controllable by higher level of management which determines the nature of products and processes. On the other hand, abnormal spoilage can be controlled by first-line supervision which can exert influence over inefficiency.

  • Material spoilage is often discovered during the inspection and quality control process.

How to calculate normal spoilage

The term is most commonly applied to raw materials that have a short life span, such as food used in the hospitality industry. Normal spoilage is the standard amount of waste or scrap that is caused by production, and which is difficult to avoid. For example, stamping parts out of a sheet of metal will inevitably result in some of the metal being rendered unusable. Abnormal spoilage exceeds the normal or expected rate of spoilage. For example, an overcooked meal cannot be served to a customer, and so is instead classified as abnormal spoilage.

How do you calculate spoilage?

Spoilage is waste or scrap arising from the production process. For example, an overcooked meal cannot be served to a customer, and so is instead classified as abnormal spoilage. In accounting, normal spoilage is included in the standard cost of goods, while abnormal spoilage is charged to expense as incurred.

Botrytis cinerea and Guignardia bidwellii take credit for the kind of spoilage occurring in grapes and strawberry. Therefore, it is evident that bacteria are a threat to food security. Abnormal spoilage is the amount of waste or destruction of inventory beyond what is expected in normal business processes.

This makes them escape conditions in the conventional preservation techniques leading to the rotting of food. Some of the most common spore forming bacteria that resistant to various preservation methods belongs to the genus Bacillus and Clostridium. According to Doyle , other species such as Erwinia carotovora are responsible for soft-rot type common in tomatoes. Additionally, blue mold rot in tomatoes is known to be caused by Fusarium as well as Penicillium species of bacteria. which typically grows at a temperature of 4 ºC is also responsible for a significant portion of food spoilage.

What is normal spoilage?

The normal spoilage will be calculated as the total number of spoiled units, divided by the total units produced, and multiplied by 100. In this case, it would be 500 / 10,000 x 100 = 5%.

The treatment of cost of spoilage depends upon the nature of spoilage. If the spoilage is normal, the cost is borne by good units of output. In case of abnormal spoilage, cost of spoilage is transferred to Costing Profit and Loss Account.

Companies typically set a normal spoilage rate for lines of products which they produce and assign the costs of such spoilage to cost of goods sold (COGS). Abnormal spoilage is that amount of scrap generated by a production process that exceeds the normal, expected level. The cost of this excess spoilage is charged to expense as incurred. Abnormal spoilage has many causes, including incorrect operator training, incorrect machine settings, and sub-standard materials quality.


Inventoriable costs, also known as product costs, refer to the direct costs associated with the manufacturing of products for revenue generation. Before the inventory is sold, it is recorded on the balance sheet as an asset. The sale of these products moves inventory from the balance sheet to the cost of goods sold (COGS) expense line in the income statement.

Even with the present day preservation methods, food spoilage remains to be a significant problem in the contemporary food industries. Bacteria have the unique ability to form structures that are extremely resistant to harsh environmental conditions. These spores are resistant to freezing, high temperatures and other forms of drying.

Abnormal spoilage can be the result of broken machinery or from inefficient operations, and is considered to be at least partially preventable. In accounting, abnormal spoilage, an expense item, is recorded separately from normal spoilage on internal books. Assuming that the products you’ve received are in good condition, they’ll become part of your inventory and be recorded in your books.

Keep in mind that if you add any costs (by performing more work) on an item, the unit is considered a byproduct. Normal spoilage occurs for companies operating in any sort of manufacturing or production environment. They will inevitably see at least part of their production line wasted or destroyed during extraction, manufacturing, transporting, or while in inventory. Consequently, firms will use historical data along with some forecasting methods to produce a number or rate of normal spoilage to account for such losses. The expenses incurred due to normal spoilage are often included as a portion of the COGS.

In accounting, normal spoilage is included in the standard cost of goods, while abnormal spoilage is charged to expense as incurred. This means that the cost of normal spoilage may initially be recorded as an asset and then charged to expense in a later period. Abnormal spoilage is spoilage that is not expected to arise under efficient operating conditions; it is not an inherent part of the selected production process”. Abnormal spoilage can be controlled because it arises as a result of inefficient operating conditions.