Industry

Study shows ‘councils forced to divert money to free school meals’

Councils and schools have been forced to divert money from other budgets to ensure the Government's promise of a free school meal for all pupils aged seven and under can be delivered when the new school year begins next month, despite promises that it would be fully funded, new research shows.

Less than a month before the first meals are served, new research published by the Local Government Association (LGA) today shows that government funding to bring school kitchens up to scratch has fallen short in almost half of local authority areas in England.

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Industry

Soil Association consultation on new FFL Catering Mark standards

Two new standards to encourage healthier eating are being proposed for the bronze Catering Mark. The Soil Association, which runs the scheme to recognise best practice in the catering industry, has opened a public consultation on proposals to limit the use of salt and make healthier drinks more widely available.

In line with recent public health guidance, the two proposed new standards are:

* Salt is not available after cooking (except on request), staff are trained in salt reduction and recipes are designed to minimise salt use.

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Industry

Report looks at need for school holiday meals programmes

Over a million UK schoolchildren rely on free school meals during term time, but what happens to them during school holidays? That is the question being addressed by school meals campaigner Lindsay Graham in a report to be published in October.

She says: “It is a vital social support to low income families with regards to financial burden, health and wellbeing.

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National

LACA and FAME offer members FREE allergen training

LACA have teamed up with FAME Ltd to offer free allergen training for all their members.

A new EU directive launching on December 14th 2014 will significantly increase the requirement for caterers to understand allergens, communicate risks to their customers and manage potential contamination risks in their kitchens.

FAME Ltd have taken a proactive lead providing caterers with the neccessary training to be able to manage the change and its requirements.

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Industry

School meals teams thanked by Minister David Laws

Schools Minister David Laws has written to Linda Cregan of the Children’s Food Trust and Carrieanne Bishop from LACA to thank them and all of their colleagues for their hard work supporting schools to deliver Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) from September.

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Industry

Catering Academy wins first consortium contract with Coventry Schools

National independent catering company, Catering Academy, has won a five year contract with Synergy consortium, a group of 10 primary schools based in Coventry.

The contract, worth £3.75 million, was won after a competitive tender process which featured eight other companies bidding for the business.

Team Academy demonstrated its capabilities to deliver on the government’s new Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) initiative, which is due to be implemented from September 2014.

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Industry

MSC reveals regional differences in uptake of sustainable fish in England’s primary schools

Primary schoolchildren in the north of England and the Midlands are more likely to be eating sustainable seafood than their counterparts in the south, according to a report published by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which claims that 86% of England’s primary schoolchildren are missing out on sustainable fish.

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Industry

Derbyshire recommends county schools freeze meal prices

Derbyshire County Council is recommending schools keep meal prices at the 2012/13 academic year levels, when pupils return for the new year in September. It means a primary school meal would stay at £1.95, with secondary school meals remaining at £2.30.

Currently the authority provides school meals to around 98% of Derbyshire primary schools and 48% of secondary schools, which equates to 38,000 meals a day in 385 schools.

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Industry

Study concludes 5 a day fruit and veg message is right

Eating more portions of fruit and vegetables than the recommended ‘5 a day’ does nothing to add years to our lives, according to researchers.

The latest study, published in the British Medical Journal, examined the association between fruit and vegetable intake and risk of premature death. Its findings contradict recent research which found that eating ‘7 a day’ holds the lowest risk of death.

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National

Tower Hamlets catering team celebrates LACA business award

Tower Hamlets Council’s Contract Services team, which provides 24,000 local schoolchildren with lunches every day, was named Catering Business of the Year at the annual Lead Association for Education Catering (LACA) Awards, which were announced recently.

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “I am hugely proud of this award and cannot thank the Contract Services team enough for all their hard work.

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