Care home food standards lack bite, FSA warned

26 October 2006
Care home food standards lack bite, FSA warned

Campaigners have warned that new Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidelines on care home food are not worth the paper they are written on. They believe mandatory regulation rather than guidance is the only way to ensure nutritional standards are applied consistently across the UK.

Derek Johnson, vice-chair of the National Association of Care Caterers (NACC), said: "What we want are binding requirements. When all you've got is guidance it all comes down to individual interpretation."

Liberal Democrat MP and care home campaigner Paul Burstow agreed. "These standards must be more than guidance if they are to have any impact," he said.

Last Friday's 18-page FSA document, entitled Food Served to People in Residential Care, included an analysis of the daily nutritional requirements for people in care homes and advice on how to source food for elderly people.

An FSA spokeswoman said it was not the role of the group to lay down rules but to "provide advice to help the needs of older people to be met".

But Burstow questioned even its potential regulatory use because it doesn't cover residents with special dietary needs. "Even if they become a requirement they will be of little use if residents are not able to eat the food," he said.

Johnson hopes a 168-page NACC manual released this week, covering eating difficulties, malnutrition and special diets, will help. Together with the FSA guidance, he wants it to be cross-referenced with a Department of Health (DoH) report in December.

The DoH's Commission For Social Care Inspection (CSCI) body may toughen up regulations that currently state food should be "wholesome and nutritious". "We need better joined-up thinking and the CSCI document needs to have teeth," Johnson said.

Survey of patients pans hospital food >>

Hospital catering survey shows patient dissatisfaction >>

By Tom Bill

E-mail your comments to Tom Bill]( home food standards lack bite, FSA warned) here.

Get your copy of Caterer and Hotelkeeper every week -

[Sudoku]( "A new puzzle every day!") Join the craze and play Sudoku online!
[Newswire For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail news alerts.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking