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Cateys 2012: Health and Nutrition Award – Charlton House

06 July 2012
Cateys 2012: Health and Nutrition Award – Charlton House

Sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions

Charlton House's "well being being well" healthy eating initiative has made a significant impact on the diets of its customers. The project was devised to make it simpler for customers to be healthy at work through education, product information and revised menu options.

The caterer identified that British workers took shorter lunch breaks than their Continental counterparts and so set about to counter the culture of eating sandwiches or fast food at the desk. To do this it committed to empower customers to make informed choices by improving nutritional knowledge through easily understood communication and the supply of interesting and nutritional meals.

Its objectives included: offering calorie-counted options, pledging to the Public Health responsibility deal on salt reduction and artificial trans fat removal, adopting low-fat and low-salt options, supporting public health initiatives and encouraging customers to eat their five a day at work.

Now well established, the initiative has become a guiding principle of the business, influencing purchasing decisions and training investment. British rapeseed oil is now used for frying at all sites, replacing vegetable oil, providing a better balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fats. Meanwhile, semi-skimmed milk has been replaced with 1% fat milk and all mayonnaise used is low fat.

To meet its salt reduction pledge, the caterer introduced a salt awareness week urging customers to "think before you pinch" and sent 40 of its chefs on salt-reduction training with Raymond Blanc, enabling a 15% reduction in added salt. In addition, it has introduced low-sugar, low-salt baked beans, begun to use low-salt bouillon and offered unsalted butter.

The results bear out all the hard work. Last year Charlton House, the B&I division of CH&Co, took 602kg of salt and 8,133kg of fat out of meals served in the workplace and reduced sugar in tinned fruit by 41% without compromising taste (having held taste tests to prove it). It also saw a 20% uptake on its five-a-day items, and a 10%-a-month growth in customer sign-up to its eâ€'newsletter.


WHAT THE JUDGES SAID

"Charlton House has shown a real commitment to improving public health, through the innovative ways it provides nutritional education to its customers and the behind-the-scenes product development work. The focus on key public health issues shows a real commitment to improving the health of our nation."
Nicky Martin, Compass Group

Shortlisted â- Artizian
â- Charlton House
â- Tayside Contracts

The JudgesHenry Dimbleby, founder, Leon
Nicky Martin, senior nutritionist, Compass Group
John Williams, executive chef, the Ritz Hotel, London
Simon Young, executive chef, Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel, London
Jonathan Doughty, group managing director, Coverpoint Catering Consultancy

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